Sam Warburton Was Absolutely Delighted When Maro Itoje Broke His Jaw
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“It is wrong.”
Lions captain Sam Warburton says he was delighted when he discovered Maro Itoje broke his jaw earlier this season. Warburton says the young English lock was in need of a well overdue rest.
The Welsh back-row says it might “sound terrible” but elite players only seem to get a rest these days when they get injured. Warburton says it is fundamentally “wrong” but it’s a fact.
Speaking to The Times in an exclusive interview, the former Wales and two-time Lions captain revealed he has serious concerns about plans to extend the season as part of a new global calendar from 2019-20.
“Anyone saying we should increase the season has not played professional rugby,” he said.
“I love rugby, I wouldn’t want to play any other sport, but you just can’t add more games.
“The seasons can’t get longer. If you play more than 25 games a year you put yourself at more risk of being injured. That’s why the dual contracts in Wales are so good. I hear of some players in England playing more than 35 games and I think . . .
“When Maro [Itoje] broke his jaw earlier this season the first thing I thought was, ‘Brilliant. That is exactly what he needs. He needs a break.’ It sounds terrible but the only time you get a break these days is when you get injured. It is wrong.”
You can read Warburton’s interview in full here.