Even though the Rugby World Cup slipped out of the All Blacks’ hands in 2019 and they’ve got a new coach this year in Ian Foster, New Zealand Rugby is keeping the rest protocols for top Super Rugby players in place.
This is in spite of the weeks off and restrictions on early-season minutes causing angst this year not just for fans eager to see top talent playing but for coaches faced with increasingly delicate balancing acts for their star athletes. The higher powers have to be listened to in order to preserve the greater good.
Although there is no global showpiece tournament to look forward to in 2020, things are looking much the same as we start 2020. NZR believes they’ve found the perfect formula in terms of managing the workload of their top brass and they’re ensuring everyone sticks to it.
Head of High Performance at NZR Mike Anthony has recently confirmed that the same rest directives applied to the All Blacks would be in place during the regular Super Rugby Season. This means that there will be two games off, on top of the teams’ two byes, a maximum of six games to be played in succession, and byes and rest weeks reset this count, and a cap of 180-minutes on game time over the first three rounds.
Along with this 180-minute restriction, coaches have also been told to try building the load, so 40 minutes are followed by 60, then 80, and so on, even though this wasn’t strictly adhered to in 2020.
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