The French Rugby Federation has unveiled seven measures to reform the Espoirs category to strengthen the safety and health of players.
1/ One year reduction in age categories
In the Reichel Espoirs competition from 2019/2020. Currently the age limit is "under 22 years old", this limit is now increased to "under 21 years old". For players over 21 years of age who can no longer play in this category, effective support measures will be implemented.
In the Federal Hopes 1 competition from 2020/2021. Currently the age limit is "23 years and under", this limit will now be increased to "22 years and under". In the same way, accompanying measures will be put in place for the players concerned by this reform.
This age category reduction measure aims to reduce the risk of injury by reducing age differences and therefore physical maturity between players.
2/ Prohibition of players under professional or federal contract 1 full-time
A measure that comes into force in 2019/2020 in the Reichel Espoirs and Espoirs Fédéraux 1 competitions. To promote the practice of safe rugby, the challenge is to reduce the differences in preparation between players. These competitions will now be reserved for non-professional and developing players.
3/ Setting up a list of skills to play in the Reichel Espoirs competition.
From 2019/2020, this list will be established and not limited in number. The club undertakes to evaluate the ability of its players to play in the Reichel Espoirs competition. Any player to be entered on a Reichel-Espoirs match sheet must first have been declared by the club, which ensures by this declaration that the player is prepared and ready for the requirements of this competition.
To be registered, each player must undergo a series of tests, the protocol of which will be defined by the FFR (Direction sportive et médicale), in order to ensure the player's physical fitness.
4/ Increased training and support for the supervisors of the U23 teams
From 2019/2020, the FFR will organise two continuing training courses for Espoir team coaches
The FFR will also invite the coaches of the clubs concerned to participate in the "under 20" interpoule selections.
5/ Extension of the blue card system to all U23 competitions from the 2019/2020 season.
6/ Compulsory presence of a doctor, at the expense of the host club, on all Reichel-Espoirs matches from the 2019/2020 season onwards
7/ Development of a competition schedule that minimizes duplication and meets the needs and pace of the Espoirs player.
The aim is to ensure that there is no duplication in international and European Cup periods. It is during these periods that Reichel-Espoirs players are brought to play with the professional team to compensate for the absence of internationals.
The future competition calendar will imitate as much as possible the duplicates and respond to the needs and rhythm of the Espoirs player. The objective is to ensure that there is no duplication over time.
international and European Cup competitions. It is during these periods that Reichel Espoirs' players are brought to play with the professional team to compensate for the absence of internationals.
Photo : C. Peyraud
Auteur : FCG Rugby