RWC latest: North has advantage – Easter

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North has advantage – Easter: England loose forward Nick Easter believes an extended Super Rugby format and the Tri-Nations could see southern hemisphere teams arrive ‘overcooked’ at the World Cup.

Easter told the BBC he believes England and the leading northern hemisphere teams have an advantage in scheduling. ‘We don’t have any rugby match now until the first warm-up game in August, so we have a good window to train hard and get prepared properly,’ he said.

‘But in the southern hemisphere their Super Rugby season is longer than usual and has gone on an extra month. Then they have the Tri-Nations. They might be a little overcooked, while for us it’s just like heading into a normal season. At our clubs we’d be doing pre-season at this time and start playing in September.’

Easter also questioned the sense of playing the Tri-Nations in a World Cup year. ‘I am surprised they’re playing the Tri-Nations. Maybe they’ll play weakened sides and rest their key players,’ he said. ‘I thought they might play each other as warm-up games like we do with other Six Nations teams, but with the same sort of warm-up schedule. I hope it leaves them tired.’