PREMIER League and EFL matches this weekend are set to feature water breaks as England faces another period of high summer temperatures.

The Met Office has issued an amber extreme heat warning which came into force on Thursday and covers the rest of this week. It covers much of the southern half of England as well as parts of eastern Wales.

The PA news agency understands any match in the EFL or Premier League where the temperature is forecast to hit at least 30 degrees Celsius is set to feature a cooling break midway through each half to enable players, coaches and officials to rehydrate and cool down.

Temperatures in the area covered by the heat warning are expected to get into the low to mid-30s.

A break was called in Sunday’s Premier League match between West Ham and Manchester City while evening games in the Carabao Cup first round earlier this week – including Coventry v Bristol City – also featured water breaks.

Meanwhile, player welfare lobby group Progressive Rugby says it seems “eminently sensible” to delay the start of English rugby union’s lower leagues season amid soaring temperatures.

A decision could be announced next week over whether to delay the start of the grass-roots campaign because of current rock-hard playing surfaces, particularly in the south-east region.


League action is scheduled to begin in early September, although many clubs will have pre-season friendlies arranged this month.

Some clubs are minimising contact training, and the Rugby Football Union are believed to be considering a later kick-off, while maximising use of artificial pitches is also being looked at.

“Rugby is an intensely physical sport and we are wholly supportive of any measure that protects the welfare of players,” a Progressive Rugby spokesperson told the PA news agency.

“Given the prolonged hot weather it would seem eminently sensible to delay the season’s start to prevent the risk of players suffering serious injury.”