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  Friday, 31 August, 2001, 15:21 GMT 16:21 UK
Brooke blasts Tri-Nations
Zinzan Brooke
Zinzan Brooke was twice a Tri-Nations winner
All-Black legend Zinzan Brooke has hit out at the standard of rugby in this season's Tri-Nations.

Speaking ahead of the series decider between Australia and New Zealand, Brooke said the tournament has failed to match the excitement of the Lions' summer tour.

And the former New Zealand number eight believes the Tri-Nations format should be changed to avoid a repeat performance.

Brooke hopes Saturday's finale in Sydney will buck the trend of defence dominated displays but he has been shocked by what he has seen so far.


I think they play too many games and there's boredom amongst the players
Zinzan Brooke

"The Tri-Nations this season has been very, very disappointing," Brooke told BBC Sport Online.

"The first All Blacks versus South Africa game was pretty pathetic in terms of standard and skill levels."

"I think the Lions series was fantastically gripping and set the benchmark for everyone else but the three big nations have not come up to scratch."

Brooke, capped 58 times by his country, feels the tournament needs a revamp to prevent players suffering burn-out.

"This sort of competition is great for revenue, but I think they play too many games and there's boredom among the players," he said.

"The Bledisloe Cup games are still classic encounters, but as for the Tri-Nations, I feel the guys don't want to be playing home and away games."


Australia might have a little too much experience on the day
Zinzan Brooke

It should be like the Six Nations where you play once and that's it.

"The novelty of games against Australia and South Africa is wearing off. Players are getting stale and something needs to change."

Despite his concerns Brooke is looking forward to the prospect of tomorrow's winner-takes-all showdown in the Olympic stadium, which also marks the end of John Eales' international career.

"Whatever the result, I think you'll see a different game this week from the rest of the Tri-Nations," said Brooke, himself a Tri-Nations winner in 1996 and 1997.

"It's going to be a classic final and nothing will motivate the New Zealand guys more than the chance to blow the candles out on John Eales' party.

"Having said that, the Eales factor could count for between three to ten points and Australia might have a little too much experience on the day."


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