Fix schedule or risk burnout warns Ennis - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Fix schedule or risk burnout warns Ennis

By Joe Barton 15/09/2010 07:12:07 PM Comments (0)

Canterbury hooker Michael Ennis has slammed rugby league administrators for their handling of the representative players' workload, saying changes need to be made to prevent the NRL's superstars from burning themselves out.

Speaking after a training session with the Prime Ministers XIII on Wednesday, Ennis said the game's leaders were being negligent if they continued to ignore the complaints of their stars.

The 26-year-old, coming off his first full State of Origin campaign with NSW, described the week-and-a-half since his club season ended as "a godsend" and warned the high standard of football would drop if measures weren't taken.

"I don't think the bloke that are sitting behind these desks have got any idea what goes in to an Origin game and what the preparation is physically and mentally, and the drain that it has," Ennis said.

"And then you've got to go nine or 10 weeks in the back-end of the year where you want to be pushing your team towards a final and you're battling.

"They've really got to do (something) and God knows how blokes like Locky (Darren Lockyer) and Petero (Civoniceva) have been doing it for so long.

"The fans want to come and see the Lockyers, the Haynes, the Inglises and they want to see them fresh and playing the best they can."

Ennis called on NRL chief executive David Gallop to revisit the idea of stand alone Origin games and shortening the season.

"For me I think the Origin games have got certainly got to be stand alone," he said.

"It's simple ... regardless of when these rep games are on you're still getting a bye with your club footy and you get four or five days to recover.

"All the players have said it's a long season so if you reduce it by two games down to 24 I don't think that's going to affect anything ... but I think it'll really benefit (the game)."

And the fiery rake found an ally in Australian hooker Cam Smith, who agreed the length of the season is something which needs to be look at as soon as possible.

Smith, currently enjoying a September break for the first time since 2003, explained that the game's elite can end up playing up to 35 times a year.

"It's quite long, when you've got back to back tours and you're playing state of origin and (the Storm) have been to the last four grand finals as well, you're playing upwards of 35 matches a year," Smith told AAP.

"It can get long, but the NRL are in a hard situation ... they've got commitments to TV and they need to be putting sides out there every week (but) maybe it's something they need to look at ... either shorten the year, or make some breaks for players or minimum turnarounds."

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