Hasler questions NRL rep workload - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hasler questions NRL rep workload

By Ed Jackson 28/04/2010 07:11:43 PM Comments (0)

Manly coach Des Hasler says the scheduling, which will force representative players to turn out for two matches inside 24 hours, has him perplexed.

The Sea Eagles host St George-Illawarra in a NRL blockbuster on May 8, just a day after the test between Australia and New Zealand in Melbourne and the City-Country match in Port Macquarie.

Up to 17 players from both teams could be involved in either representative match, and Hasler says scheduling such a key fixture so shortly after those games has him baffled.

"A test match and a City-Country game on the same night, isn't real good for anybody," he said.

"Again we ask the players to back up 24 hours later to play again.

"It's not only us, I guess St George are in the same position as we are, but to ask players to back up in less than 24 hours to play another game is beyond me."

The decision seems even more odd considering the Manly-St George match, two teams laden with potential representative footballers, is the only one scheduled for the Saturday night after the test and City-Country games.

Newcastle host Gold Coast and Melbourne take on Brisbane on May 9, with Sydney Roosters and North Queensland to clash on May 10.

Penrith, Souths, Cronulla, Wests Tigers, Canberra, the Warriors, Canterbury and Parramatta all have the bye in round nine.

While Hasler is fretting over the scheduling, Roosters' coach Brian Smith says he expects "three or four" of his players to be called up for the Kiwis and wouldn't be surprised if there's a chook or two in the Australian team either.

"I'm not sure if we've got anyone in line for the Aussie team, but it'll be nice if we get some guys picked in those rep teams," Smith said.

"We're not cutting edge or anything at this stage but we've got some individual guys that I would like to think they would be at least knocking on the door for City-Country as well as for the state teams when that comes around.

"Maybe two or three for the Aussie team, who knows?"

One of those hopefuls, lock Nate Myles, says representative selection is the last thing on his mind after the weekend's 28-6 loss to the Dragons.

"I want to get back in the winner's circle mate," Myles said.

"I'm focused on the Tigers this weekend and if you look past any game you're coming up to, you're going to get in trouble."

Sharks' five-eighth Trent Barrett is more than happy, however, to throw his hat back into the representative ring and believes two of his teammates - Kade Snowden and Luke Douglas - should also be rewarded.

"They'd both look pretty good in a Country jumper, I'd like to see them get a run there and I've got no doubt they'd play well and they'd both handle State of Origin," Barrett said.

Another person thinking representative football was former NSW great Peter Sterling, who believes Penrith utility Luke Lewis should be handed the Blues' captaincy this year.

"Whilst Luke is an excellent athlete, I believe his most valuable commodity is his competitiveness and 'never-say-die' attitude," Sterling told NRL.com.

"Luke Lewis would be my first NSW player chosen, and he would be my lock-forward.

"Furthermore, dependent on how selectors are keen to use Kurt Gidley, I'd seriously consider him as captaincy material."

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