Rugby-Wasps coach Blackett calls for Premiership pause if fans shut out

  • Rugby
  • Thursday, 23 Dec 2021

FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - England - Premiership - Wasps v Bath Rugby - Ricoh Arena, Coventry, Britain - April 25, 2021 Wasps head coach Lee Blackett Action Images/Andrew Boyers

(Reuters) - Wasps head coach Lee Blackett has called for a pause in the Premiership Rugby season if fans are not allowed to attend games due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Attendances for sporting events in Wales and Scotland have already been affected by COVID-19 restrictions and Blackett said playing without fans would have a negative impact on the Premiership Rugby product.

"(A circuit-breaker) is my personal view, I just think it's the best thing for the game. I can't imagine clubs are going to say, 'let's play three weeks with no fans,'" Blackett added.

Blackett said it was in the league's best interests to hold off until fans could safely attend games again, even if that meant fixtures would have to be played midweek.

"Players play better with supporters in. I think it's proved by the intensity in games, it's higher," Blackett said.

"So if we can have that little break, and then we might have to play midweek, but it would be for the best interests of the club financially, definitely, and for the players as well.

"Everyone wants to play with supporters -- that's the selfish perspective. Everyone sees that, as it's a better spectacle for sport and for TV."

(Reporting by Aadi Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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