Outgoing Glasgow boss Dave Rennie believes it is time to call time on the indefinitely suspended 2019/20 season and declare Leinster the Guinness PRO14 champions. The next Australia head coach does not feel trying to resume this season in late summer or the autumn would be fair given all clubs will lose players and some coaches too beforehand.
He also warned against “flogging” players by trying to squeeze the end of the campaign in before next term. Champions Leinster have won all 13 games and sit on 61 points in Conference A, 20 clear of Ulster and with 14 more than Conference B leaders Edinburgh.
Warriors, who lost last season’s final to Leinster at Celtic Park, sit third behind Ulster and are on course for a quarter-final spot with eight games left, but Rennie thinks it is time to call the season quits. “Clearly, in the time frames that we started with, we are not going to be playing rugby in June,” he said.
“So that complicates issues obviously for players and the coaching staff who may or may not be here beyond that point. There’s a lot of people dying and all over the world people have lost their jobs, the whole world is taking pay cuts. I guess the importance of getting back playing doesn’t really rank with the things I have mentioned.
“Whatever decision is made needs to have integrity involved because to try and push the finals back in August and play with whoever is here, I’m just not sure that will do it justice. We have seen other comps just reward the team that is leading. It’s hard to argue that Leinster, unbeaten all year, miles in front of the competition, it’s hard to not just award them the comp.”
This would be quite an intriguing alliance https://t.co/cVrGdeh027
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) April 28, 2020
Celtic Rugby chief executive Martin Anayi claimed two weeks ago he was “really confident” the competition could resume behind closed doors sometime in July or August but Rennie wants the players to get proper rest. “All of the decisions have got to be made around player welfare on one hand and what’s best for the state of the country,” the New Zealander said.
“I don’t think they are going to rush into relaxing laws. What we really want is some sort of clarity from the PRO14 as to what the future looks like because at the moment players are in limbo, everyone is still training hard in the hope that maybe we will come back and play some footy.
“I just worry about the effect that will have into next season if they continue to train and eventually we get a date and try to finish this season and go straight into next season. I just want to make sure they are not trying to flog the players and they end up with a 13 or 14-month season.”
– Press Association
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