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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 November 2007, 15:24 GMT



By Simon Austin

Martin Corry
England players such as Corry were back in training this week
The author of a study on burn-out in the English Premiership says he is "disappointed" more has not been done to tackle the problem already.

Dr Scott Cresswell has discovered that burn-out is two to three times higher in England than it is in New Zealand.

He told BBC Sport: "I am disappointed we haven't been able to do more for the players at this stage."

Cresswell's three-year study has been funded by the Rugby Football Union, Premier Rugby and the players' union.

606: DEBATE
BBC Sport's Matt Slater

The research fellow from the University of Western Australia is due to present his findings to the bodies at the end of the year.

He carried out a similar study for the New Zealand Rugby Union before beginning work with players in the English Premiership.

Cresswell says there are several reasons for the differences in the levels of burn-out between the countries:

    • Scheduled games: there were 44 in England during the specified period and only 35 in New Zealand

    • Training: Players in England were training for between 1 and 2 hours more than their NZ counterparts per week. The NZ players also often had "shorter, sharper and smarter" sessions

    • Club v country: The NZ players were centrally managed, meaning there was a smoother transition between club and international duty and that contract negotiations were simpler.

Cresswell has made several recommendations, some of which have been implemented:

    • Employing more people with welfare responsibilities at club and international level

    • Individual monitoring - each player copes with the demands put on him in a different way. This is why it is important to monitor players individually

    • In-season rest period - players would ideally have two weekends off during the season in which to rest away from their club and do conditioning work

    • Workable schedule - to prevent too great a demand being put on players.

Cresswell added: "I have put forward my proposals, the authorities have to now consider things like the commercial ramifications.

"I am hopeful something good will come out of that."

Many England players were back in training for their clubs this week, just eight days after getting to the final of the Rugby World Cup.

Cresswell said: "Nine days certainly is a short turnaround - this is where the benefits of individual management come in."



SEE ALSO
Clubs look to deal with burn-out
15 Feb 05 |  English
Humphreys' burn-out fear
06 Feb 04 |  Internationals
IRB to debate players' welfare
19 Jul 02 |  International
Counting the cost of sport
16 Jul 02 |  SOL


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