No rest for the Wallabies
September 17, 2010
John O'Neill (L) and Robbie Deans (R) want Quade Cooper and co to play as many matches as possible © Getty Images
Australia coach Robbie Deans has rejected New Zealand counterpart Graham Henry's strategy for managing players' workloads before the World Cup, instead saying 'the more rugby the better'.
ARU chief executive John O'Neill has revealed he discussed the congested rugby calendar with Deans and Wallabies skipper Rocky Elsom on Monday and that the coach was adamant there was no need to rest players.
That sits in contrast to Henry's long-term plan for making sure his leading players do not get overloaded, starting by making them unavailable for various periods of the ITM Cup before the All Blacks depart for their northern hemisphere tour.
The Wallabies take on New Zealand in the Hong Kong Bledisloe on October 30 before playing six matches in Europe in November. The expanded Super Rugby competition launches in 2011, giving players a short break over the new year before a taxing schedule of provincial and international matches leading up to September's World Cup kick-off.
"That was the question, 'is there going to be too much rugby next year?'," O'Neill told Sydney's Daily Telegraph. "And Deans' response was that's exactly what we need - more rugby. The idea of resting players is not on, it's not on our agenda.
"If the co-operation we are looking for across the five franchises continues as we expect it will, the players will arrive in the Wallabies squad in July and August ready to play. Fit, rugby ready and well prepared for the World Cup."