Graham Henry says the Super 14 coaches have to manage their All Blacks players if they’re to avoid fatigue at the end of a taxing Test season.
The Springbok and South African Super 14 coaches are rarely on the same page when it comes to this issue, and it appears as if Henry shares the concerns of Peter de Villiers. Tests must take priority over Super Rugby, and so coaches need to ensure their stars don’t play too much rugby before the international season kicks off in June.
According to rugbyheaven.co.nz, Henry will speak to the five Kiwi coaches this Friday.
‘We will be talking about the players. Making sure they have all the information that we’ve acquired on this tour about those players and trying to assist them in their development so we are all on the same page about what they require,’ Henry said.
‘It might not be all about physical conditions, or skills or mental skills, it might be how much rugby they play.
‘Can we keep them to a high level with the amount of rugby they play or do they need a bit of space from time to time and can we agree on how best to do that.’
Where South Africa falls short is there’s no mandate from the Bok coach to rest players for a specific number of matches, and so the SA Super 14 coaches have the freedom to decide how many games is too many. It seems Henry is also reluctant to demand rest periods.
‘They’re not going to be a month out of the game, but a guy might play for three weeks and he needs a break for a week, so he gets out of the environment and gets away.
‘Otherwise they are going to be playing rugby 10 months a year for the next two years and they will be buggered. They are buggered now.’