Rob Baxter has called for a halt to the corona virus testing of Premiership rugby players.
Newcomer to directing double chase Exeter for the European Cup final, Baxter warned his stars to be “extremely vigilant” to prevent them from tracking down their season.
But in the next breath, he believed it was time to put an end to the test regime for top air teams facing play behind closed doors for the next six months.
The chiefs’ rugby director said: “We hope this will be a matter of weeks for testing to be considered unnecessary.
“I think most clubs would agree that the taken and actual transfer rates, even around players who test positive, are very small and the argument for continuous testing will die very quickly.”
The dysfunction of rugby funds adds to the need to reduce the testing process, which costs 000 100,000 per round and 000 8,000 per club.
“It will save a fortune and free up the test module for others,” Baxter said, adding that the project is rapidly becoming “unnecessary”. The most recent volume yielded five positives from 1,056 trials.
“Due to health conditions and the age limit of the players, positive tests do not lead to mass outbursts. They will think. Does the test really prevent a locked club?
“I think the argument is getting too close to saying it’s not there. It’s only a few weeks before the test is considered unnecessary that we move on to a different rugby environment.”
With less than three weeks to go until the Champions Trophy showpiece and a Premiership semi-final to play first, Baxter reminded his players to do everything they could to avoid becoming another figure.
“Allowing your standards to slip or making that one mistake is now a crime, meaning you are not available for the biggest games of the season,” he said.
“The boys have been told to be extra vigilant because the last thing you want to do is pull in a big game week.”