Graham Henry has mentioned that players will be rested before Rugby World Cup 2011. Henry was under fire for resting players too much before the 2007 Rugby World Cup where players were left playing in World Cup Quarter Finals as part of untried combinations. Hopefully there will be greater methodology to the rotation madness. At the end of the day, who will care if we don't win the Tri Nations, assuming we win the Rugby World Cup!
New Zealand rugby coach Graham Henry plans to rest several members of his squad ahead of September’s Rugby World Cup to guard against the possibility of burnout.
Henry told the BBC in an interview on Thursday that several All Blacks stars were “overdone” as the New Zealanders head into an international season which will culminate with the World Cup on home soil.
The veteran coach cited members of the Crusaders Super 15 squad as being in need of a break after a gruelling season.
“I think a lot of them are overdone at the moment,” Henry told BBC Radio 5live.
“Take the Crusaders for example. They have been all over the world and have been playing on a lot of emotion. They can’t maintain that level of intensity for the next three months.
“So even though we’re going into an international season, we’re going to have to bring the players down to bring them back up again. That’s going to be a major challenge.”
New Zealand face Fiji next Friday before four Tri-Nations internationals against southern hemisphere rivals New Zealand and South Africa.
“I think we need to take each individual as an individual and work with them to make sure they’re the best they can be come the World Cup,” Henry said.
“Some players have played too much football, and have had a very emotional experience during that time. Others have been injured and haven’t played.
“They’re all different and we’re going to have to treat them as individuals to allow them to peak at the right time.”
New Zealand have not won the World Cup since the inaugural event in 1987, despite entering several tournaments since as overwhelming favourites.
Henry insisted the expectation on his team would not overburden them as they attempt to shed a reputation for “choking” on the big stage.
“There’s huge expectation here,” Henry said. “I think you always feel the heat and the need to deliver. All international coaches – no matter what sport – will say that.
“And the need for that takes away the pressure as you don’t have time to think about the pressure. I’m excited about and I’m sure the players are. We’re really looking forward to playing in front of our own people.”