Back to the Future …

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Next Monday (November 27th) see the official release and publication of engage Super League XII’s fixtures.

Already? Did we just finish a season? Are the guy’s back from Australia yet?

Phew – there’s barely a beat of downtime. Pity the players, who are likely reporting back to their clubs in a couple of weeks to get back into preseason training.

Me? Time to bundle the Damart collection down to Johnsons the Cleaners for a quick freshen-up. Don’t smirk the thermals are an indispensible part of the press box wardrobe; even for a ‘summer’ sport like rugby league.

Believe me, those January preseason warmups at the Autuquest (or whatever Naughton Park’s moniker is these days) are cold enough to freeze the ink in your nib if your not proprely prepared (oerr missus, stop titterin’ please).

I remember David Peachey making a classy debut there last season in a real icebox: he couldn’t believe we played in that. Me either as it happens. I’ve got to say that it’s probably contradictory to every Sports Conditioning directive there is.

And we wonder why our stars are running out of steam when we pack them off to Oz for a brutal schedule of four or five Test-match calibre games in as many weeks; this after a gruelling Super League campaign that for most of them began eleven months earlier and for some comprised 40 first class games.

We cannot continue to realistically demand it of our stars.

If we value International competition – and we are right to – then we have to find another way to accommodate it.

Demanding more from our stars is not an option.

Getting rid of the extra Super Lesgue rounds ought to help but we also need to look at when we play the International games.

Maybe we use those freed-up Super League rounds to accommodate them?

Timed right it could provide a late-Spring/early-Summer festival of test match rugby.

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