New Zealand Rugby
Muliaina to rest up, miss start of Super 14
October 12, 2009
New Zealand fullback Mils Muliaina takes on Jean de Villiers, New Zealand v South Africa, Tri-Nations, Waikato Stadium, Hamilton, September 12, 2009
One run too many? All Blacks fullback Mils Muliaina needs a break © Getty Images

All Blacks and Chiefs fullback Mils Muliaina will miss the first three Super 14 games of next season after activating a clause in his NZRU contract that grants him an extended off-season rest.

The 77-test veteran will lengthen his break to include February, missing the Chiefs' opener against the Sharks in South Africa, and subsequent away matches against the Lions and then Australia's Western Force, rejoining the side for the first home fixture, against the Reds on March 5.

Muliaina had already been excluded from appearing for Waikato in the Air New Zealand Cup, after a taxing calendar of Super 14 and internationals threatened to burn out the 29-year-old ahead of the tour to Europe.

NZRU chief executive Steve Tew said player workloads had to be managed if they were to "survive" physically.

"Although Mils is likely to have extended leave at the beginning of Super rugby, he is just one player out of 140," Tew said. "We have made it very clear, as the Australians and South Africans have in their own way, that we will have to take a case-by-case look at our players if they are going to survive."


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