Rob Baxter has vowed to end coronavirus testing of premiership rugby players.
Fresh, guided by a double-chasing exit in the European Cup final, Baxster warned his stars that they would be “hyper vigilant” to prevent their season off track.
But in the next breath he said he believes it is time to end the test regime for the top flight teams, who face playing behind closed doors for the next six months.
The director of rugby chiefs said: ‘Hopefully it will be a matter of weeks where testing will be considered unnecessary.
“I think most clubs will be in the agreement that is taken and the actual transfer rate, around the players who test positive, is so small that the argument for continuous testing will die very quickly.”
The handicap of Rugby’s financial situation raises the urgency of the need to reduce the testing process, which costs 100 100,000 per round, 8 8,000 per club.
“This will save a fortune and free up the barrier to testing for others,” said Baxter, who claims the program is rapidly becoming “unnecessary”. Five of the 1,056 tests in the most recent batch received a positive.
“Due to the level of hygiene and the age limit of the players, positive tests do not lead to mass outrage. You think they will. Is the test really preventing a locked-out club?
“I think the argument is getting closer by saying it’s not. Hopefully it will be a matter of weeks before the test is deemed unnecessary and we are moving towards a different rugby environment. “
With less than three weeks to go before the Champions Cup showpiece, and the Premiership semi-finals, Barclays reminded his players that they would do everything possible to avoid becoming another figure.
“Now it would be a crime to let your standards slip or let it make a mistake, meaning you’re unavailable for the biggest games of the season,” he said.
“Lads have been told to be extra vigilant because the last thing you want to do is pull in a huge game week.”
Total coffee specialist. Hardcore reader. Incurable music scholar. Web guru. Freelance troublemaker. Problem solver. Travel trailblazer.