BBC SPORT Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC Sport
 You are in: Rugby Union: International  
Sport Front Page
-------------------
Football
Cricket
Rugby Union
Statistics
International
European
English
Celtic
Rugby League
Tennis
Golf
Motorsport
Boxing
Athletics
Other Sports
-------------------
Special Events
-------------------
Sports Talk
-------------------
BBC Pundits
TV & Radio
Question of Sport
-------------------
Photo Galleries
Funny Old Game
-------------------
Around The UK: 
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales

BBC Sport Academy
BBC News
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS

Tuesday, 10 September, 2002, 01:12 GMT 02:12 UK
Mitchell calls for rest
John Mitchell and Rueben Thorne
Mitchell (left) will be without Thorne in November
All Blacks coach John Mitchell wants international rugby seasons harmonised to stop players from burning out.

Mitchell said that unless the international seasons were aligned players would suffer.

"It's a critical issue because we're killling off the players and the players' quality is certainly enhanced if they can get away from the game and prepare properly for a new season.


The northern and southern hemispheres need to create a parallel season
John Mitchell
"In both the northern and southern hemisphere seasons players get around four weeks annual leave at the end of the season and then have only four weeks preparation before they go into their next contest.

"The international season needs to become a total block and the northern and southern hemispheres need to create a parallel season," he told Sport on Five.

Mitchell stressed the domestic competitions would not be affected under his plan.

"The Six Nations is at the ideal time in this part of the world and maybe the Tri-Nations should align itself at a similar time and after they've finished then look at international tours."

Mitchell said it was unlikely any harmonisation of the international schedule would take place until the 2004 season at the earliest but said it was necessary to safeguard the players' welfare.

All Blacks captain Rueben Thorne will miss November's tour of England, France and Wales to undergo ankle surgery and Mitchell said his was the kind of injury brought about by the pressures of international rugby.

"He's had an ankle injury for over a year now and we had hoped to postpone it but specialist advice told us the rehabitilation post-surgery would be three months and he is critical to my team and it was important he had the srugery now."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
New Zealand coach John Mitchell
"The international season needs to become a total block"
See also:

05 Sep 02 | International
18 Aug 02 | International
Links to more International stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more International stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

Sport Front Page | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League |
Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Other Sports |
Special Events | Sports Talk | BBC Pundits | TV & Radio | Question of Sport |
Photo Galleries | Funny Old Game | N Ireland | Scotland | Wales