New Zealand's coach Steve Hansen suggests 16-week off-seasons for all
Rugby union New Zealandâs coach Steve Hansen suggests 16-week off-seasons for all
â¢ All Blacks preparing to face Japan in Tokyo on Saturday
â¢ England are still counting cost of Lions tour, says Hansen
Steve Hansen has called for a mandatory 16-week off-season, days after an 11-month campaign was announced in England. The New Zealand head coach said England were still co unting the cost of having 15 players on the British & Irish Lions tour of his country last year, amid escalating concerns over player-workload.Bledisloe Cup: All Blacks wow fans in win over Wallabies Read more
Hansen was speaking before New Zealand face Japan in Tokyo on Saturday, with matches against England, Ireland and Italy set to complete a 14-Test campaign for the All Blacks, less than three months before the 2019 Super Rugby season begins.
âThey donât get enough of a break,â Hansen said. âYou canât keep going round and round and round and round and round without running out of petrol â" at some stage youâve got to recharge the tank. I donât know how youâd structure it, but the one thing Iâd really want is that everyone gets 16 weeksâ break between their last game and their next one.â
Last week the powerbrokers of the English game announced a remodelled domestic season which will begin in September and finish in l ate June, with summer international tours pushed back until August. As part of that agreement, senior England players will have a mandatory 10-week break after a summer tour, meaning they will miss the start of the season, while Lions tours will be reduced to five weeks, starting in 2021.
Following the drawn Lions series against the All Blacks last year, England have won all three of their autumn matches but only three of their subsequent eight Tests. They would welcome New Zealand to Twickenham next month for the first time in 14 years on a run of six Test defeats from seven if they lose their first November fixture against South Africa.
âYou can rest assured weâve got a lot of respect for England, we think theyâre a good side,â Hansen said. âTheyâve got one or two people that are injured at the moment but so does everybody â" thatâs the nature of th e beast at the moment. Thatâs why I keep harping on about the need for a global season that looks after the welfare of the players.
âThe England boys I think have suffered a bit from the Lions tour and itâs not only one season, it kicks on. Itâs a worldwide problem and probably the team thatâs managing it best at the momentâs Ireland. Theyâre pretty dictatorial about what they do. They go âyou canât playâ because they own the players and the franchises completely. Theyâve got a good model.âEnglandâs Michael Rhodes: do not doubt my commitment against South Africa | Robert Kitson Read more
Meanwhile, the former England wing Christian Wade has admitted he has âa huge mountain to climbâ following his decision to quit rugby and pursue a career in the NFL.
The 27-year-old announced his surprise departure from Wasps this month and will now join the NFLâs Player Pathway program.
âItâs been a very difficult decis ion for me, giving up my career in rugby,â Wade told Sky Sports. âItâs something that I donât take lightly. Iâm going to be starting my training regime literally next week and itâs a huge mountain to climb.
âThereâs so much to learn in such a small space of time but for me Iâve always been someone whoâs always given it 100% and my aim is to give it the best I can and hopefully I can try and compete with these guys in the NFL. Thereâs some phenomenal athletes but I believe in my skills and hopefully Iâm good enough.âTopics
- Rugby union
- Steve Hansen
- England rugby union team
- New Zealand rugby union team
- British & Irish Lions
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