Aviva Premiership
RFU expands cardiac testing programme
ESPNscrum Staff
October 26, 2010
Wasps lock Richard Birkett takes on the Bayonne defence, London Wasps v Bayonne, Amlin Challenge Cup, Adams Park, Wycombe, England, December 12, 2009
London Wasps lock Richard Birkett is among those to have been tested for cardiac abnormalities © Getty Images
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Premiership Rugby Limited (PRL), the Rugby Football Union (RFU) and the Rugby Players' Association (RPA) have announced an expansion of its testing programme for cardiac abnormalities.

Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) have been screening England representative players since 2004 but the programme will now include all Aviva Premiership players, Regional Academy players above the age of 16 and England representative team players down to Under-16 level.

Testing has been ongoing since the start of the summer, with 607 players tested to date. The most recent session took place on Tuesday at Twyford Road, home of London Wasps, with the club's second row Richard Birkett among those to be screened.

"We are very well looked after by the medical staff at London Wasps, but cardiac screening is not something as a squad that we have done before. It makes absolute sense to get checked out," he said. "Abnormalities are rare, but I would far rather have more tests and get a problem addressed, than I would have it go undetected with potentially serious consequences."

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