Players threaten 'strike action'

Mon, 13 May 2013 09:08
Large rob nichol Large steve hansen presser2 Large rob nichol2

The head of New Zealand's Rugby Players Association said players could take strike action "as a last resort" to press claims for an integrated season.

The head of New Zealand's Rugby Players Association said international representative players could take strike action "as a last resort" to press claims for an integrated international season with fewer matches.

Rob Nichol said the International Rugby Players Association will meet on Australia's Gold Coast during next month's tour by the British and Irish Lions with moves to integrate the Northern and Southern Hemisphere seasons be on the agenda.

The IRPA will then raise the issue with the International Rugby Board in July.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen told New Zealand media Sunday that a demonstration of player power may be necessary to force the IRB to take steps to reduce demands on top players.

Nichol said the IRPA expects to find a solution before strike action was necessary.

An integrated international season would see northern and southern hemisphere competitions coordinated to allow all test matches to be played within the same window.

That is not currently possible because Europe's Six Nations competition is played in March and April and is not a suitable time frame for tests in the southern hemisphere.

Nichol said New Zealand players wanted their season to start later, allowing a longer gap between seasons, and has called for the elimination of the break in the Super Rugby season for June test matches.

The players instead want an established 16-week off-season instead of the current eight-week break.

He said the integration of the northern and southern seasons would not be possible before 2016 when current broadcasting agreements expire.

"We won't allow the game's administrators to follow amateur traditions that are no longer applicable," Nichol said. "That's not only competition structure but also commercial. We have to address it."

Hansen said demands on top players were too great.

"At the moment when it comes to the global season too many decisions are made around tradition rather than what is right for the athletes," he said.

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Fri, 26 August 2016
Golden Lions v Boland 15h00 Johannesburg
Pumas v Griquas 17h10 Kimberley
Sat, 27 August 2016
New Zealand v Australia 07h35 Wellington
EP Kings v Western Province 14h00 Port Elizabeth
Sharks v Blue Bulls 16h10 Durban
Argentina v South Africa 19h40 Salta
RESULT SCORE
Sat, 20 August 2016
South Africa v Argentina 30 | 23
Golden Lions v Griquas 24 | 30
Australia v New Zealand 8 | 42
Fri, 19 August 2016
Blue Bulls v EP Kings 49 | 35
Western Province v Free State Cheetahs 25 | 32
Boland v Sharks 20 | 41
Sat, 13 August 2016
Free State Cheetahs v Blue Bulls 43 | 20
Golden Lions v Pumas 68 | 26
Fri, 12 August 2016
Sharks v Griquas 46 | 24
EP Kings v Boland 10 | 28
Sat, 06 August 2016
Boland v Free State Cheetahs 16 | 44
Hurricanes v Lions 20 | 3
Fri, 05 August 2016
Pumas v Sharks 10 | 33
Blue Bulls v Western Province 45 | 26
Sat, 30 July 2016
Lions v Highlanders 42 | 30
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 10 0 5 43
Waratahs 15 8 0 7 40
Rebels 15 7 0 8 31
Reds 15 3 1 11 17
Force 15 2 0 13 13
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 15 11 0 4 53
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 52
Chiefs 15 11 0 4 51
Crusaders 15 11 0 4 50
Blues 15 8 1 6 39
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 1 4 51
Bulls 15 9 1 5 42
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Sunwolves 15 1 1 13 9
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 14 11 0 3 52
Sharks 15 9 1 5 43
Jaguares 14 3 0 11 18
Kings 15 2 0 13 9