Aussies call for longer Super Rugby break

The ARU is requesting a longer mid-season break for Australian teams during next year’s Super Rugby campaign because of the 2013 British & Irish Lions series.

ARU boss John O’Neill revealed on Friday that there was a possibility the 2013 Super Rugby competition could initially resume without Australian teams following the regulation break in June. This season’s first-ever break included three weeks of Test rugby.

This proved to be disaster for the Wallabies, who faced Scotland in Newcastle on the first Tuesday during this Test window. Some of the Australian players only had one or two training runs with their Wallabies team-mates before the match as they featured in Super Rugby fixtures during the previous weekend.

This resulted in a 9-3 win for Scotland – the tourists’ first win on Aussie soil in 30 years. Deans stressed that his team will need more time for preparation.

‘That [lack of training time] would obviously be a recipe for disaster,’ Deans told AAP. ‘The Lions series is an important moment in every rugby player’s life, once in every 12 years they get this opportunity.

‘We need to do the right thing by the playing group and ensure that they get the preparation that’s required to win. Anything short of that is negligence.’

O’Neill confirmed that the ARU had already started negotiations with their South African and New Zealand counterparts over next year’s schedule, and is confident that their request for an extension will be granted.

‘The window here in Australia needs to be wider than it necessarily will be for South Africa and New Zealand, because we have the Lions arriving early June and they are here till early July,’ said O’Neill. ‘We need not a three-week window, we need a five-week window. It means South Africa and New Zealand could well resume Super Rugby without us and play their local derbies.’