Crabtree reveals rugby league’s toll on players

Huddersfield prop Eorl Crabtree has revealed just how high the price being paid by Super League stars is, in terms of the mental and physical toll it takes on them.

Crabtree acknowledges that injuries have really hit almost all teams heavy in this season’s Super League competition, and he feels that the game’s authorities are not addressing the issue of player burnout with enough urgency.

“A lot of people in other walks of life will say they are in the same position, hating the thought of going to work,” he told the Daily Star.

“But the difference with us is we are getting 10 bells knocked out of us every week and breaking bones for fun.

“I have had at least one operation every year and it gets to you a little bit when you think about what your later life will be like.

“The days after games I feel like I have been hit by a bus. When you pick up knocks it gets harder still and you can get yourself in a mental state.

“At the moment it is a dictatorship in a sense. Players feel like outsiders and I don’t know how much of what we say is taken on board.

“But something has to be done because, as we have seen already this season, there is a ridiculous amount of injuries.”

More rest for players between games is vital to maintain the quality of the competition, according to the former England international.

“It is difficult to change the system but we have to find a way somehow to have fewer games, or rest periods or bye weekends so that players can refresh themselves mentally and physically,” he added.

“This year’s Super League hasn’t been great because the injuries are making a massive difference to the game. Something has to be done.”

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