According to a report in businesslive.co.za, the New Zealand Rugby players’ union head has expressed concern about the physical and emotional effect that the high-intensity nature of Super Rugby Aotearoa is currently having on the players involved.
Round 8 of 10 is on the horizon where the Crusaders will take on the Chiefs and the Highlanders host the Blues. The Crusaders are currently top of the table, enjoying a two point lead over the Blues while the Hurricanes lie in third spot followed by the Highlanders and Chiefs.
The rugby which the tournament has produced has been superb and fast-paced with an intensity rivalling many international match-ups and the cost is beginning to show, with injury lists lengthening.
“You just have to watch the games,” said Rob Nichol, New Zealand Rugby Players Association, “They’re incredibly intense both emotionally and physically.
“It’s as close as you’re going to get to Test match rugby. And we all know that if you ask players to play three Tier One Test matches in a row ... to come down emotionally and then get back up is pretty hard.
“At some stage you do need to be able to decompress, recover, realign and get back into it. I think what you’re hearing from the coaches and the players is that it’s cool to be able to produce this kind of rugby for the fans, but we can only keep going at this level for so long.”