Rugby Union

Haskell has been vocal previously on how he would change the sport, on his social media accounts.

James Haskell gives his controversial view on how rugby should change

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Northampton Saints and England flanker James Haskell has proposed a series of changes that he would love to see brought into rugby. 

Haskell, who has won 77 caps for England to date, as well as making over 250 career appearances, has been a vocal critic of many elements of the sport in the past, and has frequently taken to social media to vent his thoughts. 

Now however, the Northampton Saints man has used a slightly different platform, going into a little more detail on what exactly he would change on JOE's House of Rugby podcast. 

When asked for his thoughts on changes to the season schedule, and how he would feel about more games being played in the hotter weather, Haskell appeared to have given the issue some thought.

"Well I've got two views, I think we should have more time off around Christmas. I just don't think there's any need to play. I think we should have like, literally a week or two off around Christmas."

Haskell's new suggestions

When pushed on how this might effect viewing figures and attendance however - reminded of how France had trialled a similar system and witnessed decline - Haskell remained jovial, but insistent. 

"All I want is Christmas. The second thing is, I 100% [think that] professional Rugby should be a summer sport.

"I have honestly been saying this for years on social media. About five of my followers agree, but then I only have 10!

Northampton Saints Media Session

Haskell explains his reasoning

"Everyone talks about wanting to play expansive rugby and wanting to play, you know, great rugby, but I don't think anyone wants to play in the wet and the mud. 

"Whatever it means where you don't have to play in the mud and the rain and the hell and the cold, and everything else."

Whilst this is an idea that, on the face of it, certainly seems appealing to many top-level players and fans, some were quick to point out the implications this might have on the lower tiers of Rugby across the country. 

"People said 'oh listen, what about the lower levels and everything else', the pitches would be too hard, but don't worry about the lower levels, they can do whatever they want. I just want to play in the summer."

Haskell also insisted that improvements to 4G pitches and playing surfaces were less important than solving the issue of the playing conditions. 

Northampton Saints v Glasgow Warriors

"Every stadium should be like that stadium in Dunedin [Forsyth Barr Stadium], the one with the roof over it. Forget these 4G pitches, forget all that nonsense.

"[Make it a] summer sport, decent stadiums like that, and forget the rest of it."

Do you think rugby union should become a summer sport? Have your say in the comments section below.

Topics:
England Rugby
James Haskell
Rugby Union

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