RUPA want more rest periods in Super15

Australia’s players’ union Wednesday welcomed the newly agreed Super 15 revamp, saying burnout would not be an issue if there were rest and recovery periods to make up for the increased number of games.

The Super Rugby series will increase from 14 to 15 teams and run from February to August from 2011, with each side playing 16 games in the regular season before an enlarged six-team finals series.

The Rugby Union Players Association (RUPA) said it did not believe the extra number of games would mean a bigger workload for the players.

“Players have frequently made it clear they would much rather play games than simply continuously train,” RUPA chief executive Tony Dempsey said in a statement.

“Equally important is the new competition structure will enable players to have a lengthy off-season break of around three months” as recommended by the International Rugby Board’s medical advisory committee.

“I don’t think player burnout will be an issue provided we put in the place the necessary rest and recovery periods needed to compensate for the increased number of games,” he added.

“Many other sports have equally as many games and seem to manage it okay.”

Dempsey said that as the size of the rugby economy grows, he expected the players to share in that growth.

“One of the reasons of looking to grow the competition is to grow commercial interest in the sport so as to stave off interest in our players from overseas clubs, the like of those in France,” he said.

“It is important we remunerate the players commensurate with their contribution to the game. As their contribution grows under this new model so too will their revenue.”

The new plans include putting more emphasis on fixtures between domestic rivals in the annual Super Rugby series, which features provincial franchises from Australia, South Africa and New Zealand.


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