Ivan Toney might have another plan to maintain his fitness during his eight-month ban for breaking betting rules.
Toney was banned by the FA last month, however, he will be allowed to train with Brentford after September 17. Toney will be without a pre-season by the time he returns to training with the Bees – but he could have a Plan B.
The FA have confirmed the ban is only for football, so Toney is theoretically free to participate in another sport. And to keep his fitness high, Toney could have a pre-season with a rugby side – as their core fitness sessions are fundamentally similar to football.
Gareth Southgate fumed at the decision: "Not being allowed to play is one thing but not being allowed to be within the football community, we have to be really careful how we do that.
READ MORE: Ivan Toney hit with massive ban for FA betting breaches as Brentford ace learns fate
“He accepted the punishment. What bothers me is we must look after people. He’s injured, what does he do about getting fit? How do we give him structure over the next few months so he can be a better person at the end?
“I don’t like the idea we leave somebody so they aren’t allowed to be part of the football community. I don’t think that’s how the best rehabilitation programmes would work."
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Toney would seemingly have the perfect side to join pre-season training – as Brentford ground shares with Rugby Union side London Irish.
However, on Tuesday, London Irish were ejected from the Premiership, becoming the third Premiership club in nine months to dissolve financially.
“We currently contribute £25m to the Premiership each year but cannot continue to invest in failing business models,” the RFU chairman, Tom Ilube said.
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