Lions doc calling for changes
Lions doctor James Robson believes players will have to streamline their physiques.
Last Updated: 05/07/09 4:28pm
British and Irish Lions doctor James Robson believes players will have to streamline their physiques in order to get the balance between power and skill right.
Robson has been the Lions doctor on five tours but he has never known anything like the levels of intensity and attrition witnessed during the Lions' 2-1 series defeat to South Africa.
Five Lions players ended up in hospital after the brutal second Test in Pretoria and Robson hopes the emphasis will be placed more on ability than physicality in the future.
"I would have to say this has been the most physical tour, the most physical Test matches I have been involved in," said Robson.
"I think we are reaching a level where the players have got too big for their skill levels. I think they have become a little too muscle-bound and too bulky.
"I think you may see changes in the physical nature of the player that brings them back a little - I hope so - in order to speed up the game and introduce a higher level of skill."
Robson also hopes the northern hemisphere unions will take a uniform approach to limiting the demands on players.
"I do have concerns going forward about the number of matches we do subject our players to in the northern hemisphere," said Robson.
"I hope welfare will become a bigger part of player management. That is a personal view but it is a view I have expressed after every Lions tour.
"I don't necessarily think a compacted period is a detriment to the players if over the year they have less games.
"Personally I would like a slightly longer tour with less frequent games. Maybe it should be eight games over eight weeks."
There will be plenty of time for any changes to be implemented before the Lions next convene for a tour of Australia in 2013.