Leading Wobblies are expected to be rested from several Vodacom Super 14 matches next season to ensure they are fresh for the World Cup.
According to Aussie rugby writer Greg Growden, the early February start will cause problems for Australia’s franchises because Wallabies players are required to take a nine-week break after their tour of Europe.
Test players have five weeks’ annual leave, one week of “active rest” and three weeks of restricted training that cannot include opposed sessions. That break stretches into late January/early February, ruling players out of trial matches and possibly early Super 14 rounds.
Australian Rugby Union officials are also considering whether players should have rest periods during next season because the Super 14 will be closely followed by two domestic Tests against Wales and one against Fiji in mid June, with the Tri Nations tournament starting immediately afterwards.