Ben Youngs believes 'sense will come' before season is extended

Ben Youngs shares a joke with England team-mate Danny Care during the Premiership clash between Leicester and Harlequins. Craig Mercer - CameraSport via Getty Images

Ben Youngs has echoed the warnings issued by England team-mates Billy Vunipola and Joe Marler that players will go on strike if they are pushed beyond their capacity to play.

Vunipola has been the most outspoken on the demands of modern rugby, declaring his body "could not handle" the physical toll, expressing he would accept reduced income to play less and raising the possibility of strike action.

To cruelly underline his point, only three days after outlining his concerns the Saracens No. 8 underwent major surgery for the third time in 11 months after damaging his right knee against Sale.

The operation has prevented him from attending England's three-day training camp in Oxford, but reporting for duty while nursing injuries of varying severity are Mike Brown, Chris Robshaw, Joe Marler, Marcus Smith, Dylan Hartley and Anthony Watson.

Negotiations over the new global calendar are at a critical phase and there are murmurs of discontent among international players at the proposed 11-month season, which will take effect from 2020.

Youngs, the Leicester scrum-half with 72 caps, insists the type of strike action last seen by Martin Johnson's England in 2000 is a genuine option, but is confident that crisis will be averted.

"If it comes to that, guys will stand up for what they feel is right to protect themselves. Guys have been outspoken about it but that's because they care about the length of their career," he said.

"They don't want it four years shorter. They want to be able to finish on their terms -- they know their bodies. The salary cap has grown and with that more games are asked of us. "

"It's up to the guys with a calculator to come up with the sums and work out what needs to happen, while the scientists and doctors try to understand the toll on the body.

"As players, the guys do have that power [to strike] but I don't think it's something any player wants to get to. It has been talked about but I am sure that sense will come.

"There is constant dialogue between the RPA (Rugby Players' Association) reps and the players they represent. I feel we are in a good place at the moment, we are able to manage it."

Youngs believes the improving quality of the Aviva Premiership and the growing athleticism of players mean injuries are inevitable.

"I think the game is definitely hugely demanding and I think more so now. It's becoming more and more competitive therefore it is becoming more robust," Youngs said.

"Because every week is so big and so competitive there are no easy games so therefore you have to be physically where you need to be and if you are not, you will come up short.

"You're always going to get certain injuries because guys just don't run straight - they move and step. You have got guys of 130kgs who are able to move like centres at times.

"You think you've got them but then they move and you get your head in the wrong place. There are better athletes and everyone is more competitive."