Mayfair agreement on number of games -- how does it add up?

Mayfair agreement on number of games -- how does it add up?

Post by Ben Cle » Sun, 30 Aug 1998 04:00:00


As the English clubs churn through a number of early season matches I was
struck by a thought. Since international players are supposed to be limited
to 37 matches under the terms of the Mayfair agreement, how many major
fixtures will players have to miss as a result of these early season
non-competitive games?

As far as I know England are signed up for a November international against
Australia [no England warm-up game -- thank goodness the clubs wont have to
lose any of their players to other fixtures just so England have a better
chance in a major internation], and a December game against South Africa,
plus somewhere in there are the 2 RWC qualifiers [one of which IIRC is
against Italy.] Add to that the 4 matches from the 5 Nations, and England's
requirement out of the 37 looks to me like being 8 games. This number
assumes the major players opt out of the tour again next summer, or the
summer games get cancelled, or else some imaginative person will find a way
for summer matches not be be considered part of the season. Woodward
probably wont field an unchanged team through all the games, players will
probably only turn out in 7 international games, but in theory he could use
a player in all 8.

That leaves the clubs with around 30 appearances from some players. Having
played a couple of pre-season fixtures the total is probably down to 28 or
so. Does anybody have any idea how many pre-season games most international
players have played this year? Two seems a reasonable minimum guess, but it
could be the number is quite a bit higher. The higher the number, the more
major games the player might have to skip later.

Since there are 26 league games, 4 rounds (?) of the Tetley Cup, plus the 4
Anglo-Welsh matches, that looks to me like a total of around:

   8  England internationals
   ?  Tour matches next summer?
  26  league matches
   4? cup rounds
   4  Anglo-Welsh 'friendly' matches
   2+ pre-season games
  --
= 44 or more possible games

Which means to stay within the limit, clubs will have to leave players out
of 7 matches. They can't take them out of the pre-season games because
they've already played those. They feel "morally obligated" to the Welsh
clubs and I hear the clubs are supposed to have agreed a plan to field full
strength sides against them. Hard to know what to do about the Cup games --
you might only need one, but you'll probably want your best players for all
those games you involved in (Bath aren't likely to try resting keys players
for Cup games after their loss a few years back to Waterloo when Barnes and
Clarke were playing for the Barbarians.)

Surely all this doesn't mean that some international players will be
missing one quarter of the league games this season? I know if league games
do get scheduled to overlap with the 5 Nations matches international
players will be forced to miss this 4 matches, but that is only half the
total required (and that assumes the fixtures do go ahead on those
weekends).

Anybody have any guesses how clubs are going to manage the restriction? It
seems like this will come to the crunch at the business end of the season.

            Cheers,

                        Ben

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University of Oregon            | http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~benc
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Mayfair agreement on number of games -- how does it add up?

Post by John Willia » Mon, 31 Aug 1998 04:00:00


[[[.]

Quote:
> Since international players are supposed to be limited
>to 37 matches under the terms of the Mayfair agreement, how many major
>fixtures will players have to miss as a result of these early season
>non-competitive games?
>As far as I know England are signed up for a November international against
>Australia [no England warm-up game -- thank goodness the clubs wont have to
>lose any of their players to other fixtures just so England have a better
>chance in a major internation], and a December game against South Africa,
>plus somewhere in there are the 2 RWC qualifiers [one of which IIRC is
>against Italy.]

I think the qualifiers come before the SA and Oz internationals, so
acting as warm-ups for those games.

Quote:
>Add to that the 4 matches from the 5 Nations, and England's
>requirement out of the 37 looks to me like being 8 games. This number
>assumes the major players opt out of the tour again next summer, or the
>summer games get cancelled, or else some imaginative person will find a way
>for summer matches not be be considered part of the season.

I believe the "summer tour" is a month training camp in Australia,
with one test v Oz. I don't know if other tour games are being
considered.

Quote:
>That leaves the clubs with around 30 appearances from some players. Having
>played a couple of pre-season fixtures the total is probably down to 28 or
>so. Does anybody have any idea how many pre-season games most international
>players have played this year? Two seems a reasonable minimum guess, but it
>could be the number is quite a bit higher. The higher the number, the more
>major games the player might have to skip later.

As far as Leicester are concerned, there have been two preseasons,
with some (Johnson,***erill, Stimpson) playing both, and others
(Greenwood) none. Most have played one.

Quote:
>Since there are 26 league games, 4 rounds (?) of the Tetley Cup, plus the 4
>Anglo-Welsh matches, that looks to me like a total of around:

>   8  England internationals
>   ?  Tour matches next summer?
>  26  league matches
>   4? cup rounds
>   4  Anglo-Welsh 'friendly' matches
>   2+ pre-season games
>  --
>= 44 or more possible games

You mention below that league games will be played on the
international weekends, unless something has happen that I missed, so
reducing the number of games for internationals by four.

Three games to miss then, which for many players is likely recovering
from knocks. Add missing say one of the Anglo-Welsh games, and there
would seem to be enough slack. Just. Also, Woodward has said any
player who makes his club team against the advice of England medics
will be ditched from WC99 with no appeal. No playing with painkilling
injections this season, Kyran.

Quote:
>Anybody have any guesses how clubs are going to manage the restriction? It
>seems like this will come to the crunch at the business end of the season.

For some players who seldom miss games, yes the end of the season
might be a problem. Maybe the biggest factor will be if the players
take matters into their own hands more than last season, and withdraw
when insufficiently fit. A quick example made of the first player to
be silly (eg play against England medical advice) will concentrate
their minds wonderfully.

All the best

John Williams.

 
 
 

Mayfair agreement on number of games -- how does it add up?

Post by Jonathan Chapma » Mon, 31 Aug 1998 04:00:00

John Williams:

Quote:

> For some players who seldom miss games, yes the end of the season
> might be a problem. Maybe the biggest factor will be if the players
> take matters into their own hands more than last season, and withdraw
> when insufficiently fit. A quick example made of the first player to
> be silly (eg play against England medical advice) will concentrate
> their minds wonderfully.

Indeed the players themselves must play a bigger part in preserving their
own welfare - difficult though I appreciate it can be to defy your
employer.

I hope that this is the prime motivation behind Damien Hopley's formation
of a "trade-union" for 1st and 2nd Division players - and if so, I
fervently that it is effective!

JC