Lang fears elite players are burning out - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lang fears elite players are burning out

By Daniel Pace 23/08/2005 08:57:46 PM Comments (0)

Penrith coach John Lang has slammed the Australian Rugby League for adding another representative game to the 2005 calendar, claiming elite players are being burnt out.

The ARL has confirmed a Prime Minister's XIII made up of NRL players not involved in the upcoming finals series will take on Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby on September 18.

Former Test captains Mal Meninga and Brad Fittler will coach the PM's invitational XIII, which is being funded by the federal government to help promote a message of safe sex.

"Everybody agrees we play too many games but no-one wants to give up any, in fact we're introducing new ones," argued Lang.

"It is impacting on sides. Is it a coincidence that the sides with a lot of rep players are getting worn down?

"It's just another game. You can justify that game on its own but where do you stop?

"We've already had the Australian coach (Wayne Bennett) saying the season's too long."

In the past both Lang and Bulldogs coach Steve Folkes have called for the NRL season to be shortened to lessen the burden on representative players.

Folkes was furious when star forward Willie Mason suffered a long-term foot injury playing for Australia in an exhibition against the USA in December.

"Good idea - promote the game in America," Lang said sarcastically.

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