Scots team Doc: Schedule is dangerous

Have your say

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 four 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 impossible.”

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.

He 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.