ARU want longer mid-season Super Rugby break

ADRIAN WARREN
Last updated 16:49 27/07/2012
Robbie Deans
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MARSHALL'S BACKING: Wallabies coach Robbie Deans.

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Australia is pushing for a longer mid-season break during next year's Super Rugby tournament.

Wallabies coach Robbie Deans is insisting anything less than a proper preparation for the British and Irish Lions series would be negligent and a recipe for disaster.

Australian Rugby Union boss John O'Neill revealed on Friday there was a possibility the 2013 Super Rugby competition could initially resume without Australian teams following the break.

This year's first-ever Super break allowed for three weekends of Test rugby in June that followed the first 15 rounds.

With Australia squeezing in a Test against Scotland on a Tuesday night before the first weekend of the break, some players backed up a few days after a Super game and had just one or two runs with their Wallabies teammates before the match in Newcastle.

At the time, Deans was philosophical about the circumstances that led to the Wallabies' 9-6 loss to Scotland, who hadn't won in Australia in 30 years.

But on Friday, Deans stressed that Australia could not afford a repetition next year.

''That would obviously be a recipe for disaster,'' Deans told AAP.

''It (the Lions series) is an important moment in every rugby player's life, once in every 12 years they get this opportunity.

''We need to do the right thing by the playing group and ensure that they get the preparation that's required to win.

''Anything short of that is negligence.''

The Lions will play nine matches in Australia between June 5 and July 6 next year, with all five Super franchises playing the tourists.

O'Neill said negotiations had already started with South African and New Zealand officials over next year's Super break and he was very confident of achieving a satisfactory outcome within the next two weeks.

''The window here in Australia needs to be wider than it necessarily will be for South Africa and New Zealand, because we have the Lions arriving early June and they are here till early July,'' O'Neill told AAP.

''We need not a three-week window, we need a five-week window.

''It means South Africa and New Zealand could well resume Super Rugby without us and play their local derbies.''

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