Rugby Union: New Zealand feeling the strain
Thursday 09 October 1997
The 36-man contingent, who will play two Tests in England and one each against Ireland and Wales in November and December, will be named on Monday.
But the tour comes at the end of an arduous season for them and Mayhew said: "There is concern because some players are worse off than others.
"It is getting to the stage where we've had players who have been relieved to be injured just so they can get a break. Not that they want to be injured, but mentally they just need to get away for a while."
Mayhew said Auckland, who contributed 11 players to the All Blacks for their eight Tests from June to September, are one of the worst affected sides in the National Provincial Championships because of the intensity and length of the season.
"They went through the Super 12, played and won the Super 12 final then had a lot of players in the All Blacks, and now they're having to play in a tough NPC competition," he said.
Mayhew said the All Blacks coach, John Hart, is aware of the strain on his leading players and is doing all he can to ensure the tourists will be refreshed by the time they arrive in Britain. Mayhew is relieved the Test squad will not be put in such a stressful position again, leading into the 1999 World Cup.
"Next year I think we only have seven Tests and no end-of-year tour, and that will make it more bearable for the players," he said.
Australia's provincial rugby union players have been guaranteed minimum salaries of pounds 25,000 under a historic agreement with officials.
More than 100 players from the three provincial sides and a selected squad of elite national team players will benefit following the conclusion of year-long negotiations.
Also included in the agreement is a clause which guarantees full payment of player's annual contracts regardless of injury.
The Players' Association president, Tony Dempsey, said the deal, the first of its kind in rugby union, was based on an agreement used in American football.
"It's been a long hard road for us. It's the culmination of 12 months hard work and I'd reckon 50 or 60 meetings with the Unions to get this far," Dempsey said.
"We didn't get all the things our own way but we got all the things we wanted through. There is no other agreement like this in the rugby world."
Latest in Sport
Arsenal transfer news and rumours: Gabriel Paulista sent to Paris to speed up move; Luis Suarez bid planned; Gunners eye Daniele Rugani
Chelsea vs Liverpool match report: Branislav Ivanovic seals classic semi-final with extra-time header to send Blues to Wembley
Gabriel Paulista: Talented Brazilian could grow into world-class defender at Arsenal
Andy Murray vs Tomas Berydch: Murray cool over reunion with coach Dani Vallverdu at the Australian Open
Transfer news live: Gabriel Paulista to Arsenal CONFIRMED; Juan Cuadrado to Chelsea; Liverpool close in on £14m Ezequiel Lavezzi
- 1 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 3 Mystery man who gave mum heart-warming note on train 'wanted to put a smile on her face'
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
£120 - £150 per annum: Tradewind Recruitment: I am recruiting on instruction o...
£70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Controller - Fina...
£24000 - £28000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - Wim...
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Front End Web Developer is re...