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Thread: Australian Super Rugby teams look to international friendlies to stay fit during comp

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    Australian Super Rugby teams look to international friendlies to stay fit during comp

    Iain Payten The Daily Telegraph January 23, 2012 12:00am


    Source: The Daily Telegraph
    AUSTRALIAN Super Rugby sides will play friendlies against Wales, Scotland and a Currie Cup side in June as part of plans to deal with the competition's first ever mid-season hiatus.

    An unprecedented month break to accomodate the June Test matches shapes as a crucial new factor in Super Rugby in 2012.

    The regular season begins on February 24, pauses after 15 weeks on June 2 and starts up again on June 28 - just three weeks out from the Super Rugby finals.

    Queensland, the Force and NSW will, in effect, have a five-week break due to their bye falling just before or after the hiatus.

    So with Aussie teams losing varying numbers to the Wallabies - who play Scotland and three Tests against Wales in June - coaches are strategising how to manage the break without damaging momentum.

    It could prove a blessing for those battling injury and in need of rest, or a curse if the wrong strategy sees them return rusty at the business end of the season.


    The Waratahs are set to announce a match against the touring Scots to be held in the second week of June, while the Brumbies are set to play Wales in a mid-week fixture in Canberra between the Brisbane (June 9) and Melbourne (June 16) Tests.

    The Western Force are in talks to bring a Currie Cup team to Perth, while Queensland are looking at taking on a Kiwi side and the Rebels may do likewise.

    "In my view, whether you have the five weeks like us or the four weeks, you can't go that long without playing together," Force coach Richard Graham said.

    There is divided opinion on which sides will be impacted most.

    Those with many Wallabies believe their continued exposure to elite rugby will be beneficial, but those who won't have many - like the Brumbies - see it is a blessing to not have players either injured or worn out just before the finals.

    Sydney and Brisbane club rugby will see many returning professionals but both the Brumbies and Force will this year make their contracted players play in their local competitions in Canberra and Perth.

    An unconcerned Reds coach Ewen McKenzie said with experience of such breaks from Europe and the Six Nations, the big issue will be managing the workload of Wallabies when they return from Test duties.

    "I am not too worried. You can profit from it in terms of getting a rest. The hardest part is managing the Test players, they go away and play four hard games and come back. It is always tougher managing the people when they come back," McKenzie said.

    NSW star Berrick Barnes said the break will be "pretty crucial" in determining who hits the final rounds healthy and in form.

    "It will be interesting to see how things pan out. I am not sure what they've got planned here," Barnes said.

    "You will have guys who play for the Wallabies and you have a bunch of young blokes you could send out and got hit the piss for four weeks, and you come back and all your hard work is undone. You don't know.

    "I would like to see guys get a good mental refresh, whether its a week away from the joint, and then get some footy in. Club rugby or whatever. I don't know how clubs will manage it, but it will be a key aspect with the length of the competition."

    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/spo...-1226250751423

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    Quote Originally Posted by travelling_gerry View Post

    Sydney and Brisbane club rugby will see many returning professionals but both the Brumbies and Force will this year make their contracted players play in their local competitions in Canberra and Perth.

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    Senior Player DinkyDi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by travelling_gerry View Post
    Iain Payten The Daily Telegraph January 23, 2012 12:00am
    Sydney and Brisbane club rugby will see many returning professionals but both the Brumbies and Force will this year make their contracted players play in their local competitions in Canberra and Perth.
    Nice idea but will it really happen? I hope so. Does anyone know what players are allocated to what local team this year? Has this been decided yet?

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    Quote Originally Posted by DinkyDi View Post
    Nice idea but will it really happen? I hope so. Does anyone know what players are allocated to what local team this year? Has this been decided yet?
    Don't think it changes. Only the new players are allocated a club


    Also I wonder if Deans continues to be a twat, will sharpie finally turn out for rocko
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