Reaction To Compressed Schedule
As we reported the USA is facing a compressed schedule at next year’s Rugby League World Cup following the release of the finalized match schedule and venues.
As things stand, the Tomahawks are slated to play their three Pool games within the space of eight days.
The USA opens its RLWC2013 campaign with a match against the Cook Islands on Wednesday, October 30, 2013 and then has to back up against Wales, in what could turn out to be the make or break game of the Tomahawks' World Cup push, just four days later on Sunday, November 3.
And if that’s not enough pressure, the Americans’ final preliminary game is against Scotland on Thursday, November 7.
One of the central issues that the US coaching staff and management team face is a lack of recovery time between games, particularly if players pick up injuries along the way.
“We understand the schedule for the RLWC from an operations standpoint and have concerns with the challenges of playing games with short turnaround,” American National Rugby League president David Niu told WeAreRugby.
“We will review with the coaching staff and look at how we will prepare the squad if the current schedule remains the same, or if there might be an alternate plan to give our guys more recovery and preparation time between games.
“We are in regular contact with the RLWC operations team and will work closely with them to sort through any issues.”
The AMNRL is hopeful of being able to negotiate an adjustment to the match schedule with the RLWC organizers to create a little more breathing room for the national team.
2013 will mark the first time the United States has qualified for the Rugby League World Cup and the AMNRL wants to ensure that the Tomahawks are given every opportunity to be at their best.
That said, however, head coach Matt Elliott isn't fazed by the possibility of the US having to deal with a compressed schedule.
"My job is not the administration. My job is to make sure that whatever the scenario that we're presented with we make the very, very best case scenario for it," said Elliott.
"We're picking a squad and the reason we're picking a squad is that all those guys are going to have to contribute. This is our first World Cup so our expectations need to be built on making sure that we acquit ourselves in a way that does the competition proud, but also the nation proud and equally lets us make an announcement that we can handle whatever schedule people throw at us because we are a World Cup nation and we're a worthy World Cup nation."
The USA is scheduled to resume its build-up to RLWC2013 with the annual two-game Colonial Cup series against Canada in September.