(Reuters) - England scrumhalf Ben Youngs says players are being pushed to their limits by the hectic fixture schedule and could go on strike to prevent Premiership Rugby from extending the club season further.
The ruling body confirmed this year that the 2019-20 season will start in early September and finish at the end of June as part of a reorganisation of the global calendar.
A number of players have sustained serious injuries at the start of this season.
“We’re probably at the limit of the number of games played and the length (of the season),” Leicester’s Youngs told reporters.
“Guys have been outspoken but that’s because they care about the length of their careers. They don’t want it to be four years shorter. That’s important.
“If it comes to it, guys will stand up for what they feel is right to protect themselves. But I don’t think it will come to that. I trust the powers-that-be will do what the players are after. The boys know their bodies.”
Youngs believes regular talks between the authorities and the Rugby Players’ Association (RPA) will find a solution to the problem.
“As players, the guys do have that power (to strike) but I don’t think it’s something any player wants to get to. It has been talked about but I am sure that sense will come,” he added.
“There is constant dialogue between the RPA reps and the players they represent. I feel we are in a good place at the moment, we are able to manage it.”
England players are attending a three-day training camp in Oxford ahead of the autumn internationals but Mike Brown, Chris Robshaw, Joe Marler, Marcus Smith, Dylan Hartley and Anthony Watson have reported for duty nursing injuries.
Saracens number eight Billy Vunipola this week underwent a third major operation in 11 months after damaging his right knee.
Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond