Rugby World Cup
Robson calls for re-think over fixtures
September 23, 2011
Scott Lawson has been the only Scotland player to suffer any injury © PA Photos
Scotland team doctor James Robson believes it is asking too much of players to play two World Cup fixtures in just a few days.
Much debate has surrounded the short turnaround in matches, particularly for the perceived lesser nations, with Samoa's Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu expressing his displeasure on Twitter. Scotland's opening Pool B games against Romania and Georgia were played within five days, on September 10 and 14, before an extended break to Sunday's key match with Argentina.
Robson, who has also been the British and Irish Lions' team physician, said: "From my point of view, from a medical point of view, I would prefer that we didn't have a four-day turnaround. We've done one and I know that the guys that played in both those games, for a day or two, really couldn't do anything.
"We've often argued what is the optimum time to play a Test match and then return for training and we find the players are not able to train adequately for about three to four days. To my mind, and certainly it would appear to many people's minds, trying to actually play one international and then four days' later play another international is almost an impossible task."
Robson believes it is less of a challenge for the leading nations, due to the depth of their squads and their preparation for such an event. But he expects the duration between fixtures to be a topic of conversation at the International Rugby Board's medical conference in London in November, where further scientific analysis may provoke more discussion. Robson added: "I'm not saying we have the answers and what we're doing is wrong but I think we do have to examine it again after this World Cup and it will be interesting to see if there is any correlation between injuries in particular games with short turnarounds, for instance."
Despite two bruising encounters thus far and two to come, Scotland have to date enjoyed a World Cup relatively free of injury. Hooker Scott Lawson suffered a calf problem, but is now back in full training.
Robson added: "Yes we've had the bumps and bruises that you would associate with Test-match rugby but, touch wood, no nasty injuries that have kept anybody out for more than a couple of days."
© ESPN EMEA Ltd
"The fans could not be happier with the opposition and it adds an exciting element to a game that is shaping up as a thriller." Ben Kay previews the Premiership final showdown
"If there was a cross breed of canine called an Underdogdoodle it would win best in show at Crufts." Mark Durden-Smith looks at the Aviva Premiership Final
With the Lions' tour to Australia fast-approaching, ESPN's Austin Healey and Mark Durden-Smith sat down to share their memories of the 2001 trip Down Under
Ask John answers questions on the Leopards' tour to Italy in 1974, brotherly Test sides, Pat McGrath, England's games against the Barbarians and Jacques Brunel