Over 70 medical professionals in the UK yesterday called for contact to be withdrawn from junior rugby on health grounds – sending an open letter to ministers as they aim to reduce the risk of injury to players below the age of 18.
A signatory of the letter, professor Allyson Pollock, claims that players up to the age of 19 have a 28 per cent chance of getting injured over a 15-match season, which could equate to 300,000 injuries a year if the RFU’s target of providing rugby to over one million children is met by 2019.
However, Felton believes a move to remove contact from the sport could lead to a drastic decline in popularity and participation.
‘The damage to the sport would be irreversible,’ he said. ‘You would see a dramatic drop in the game.’
Full story in Thursday’s JEP.