Moore weighs in on sabbatical debate

Date published: April 6 2015

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Brumbies hooker Stephen Moore supports sabbaticals as a way to keep the best Wallabies in Australia, provided player welfare is taken care of.

Moore believes it must be up to the individual to ensure that he doesn't suffer from burn out by playing too much rugby during the long and arduous season.

Australia's top contracted players cannot take sabbaticals unlike in New Zealand, where some of the top internationals have been allowed them – either through an extended rest period or a short stint at an Overseas-based club.

By allowing Wallabies to take overseas sabbaticals it could see some Test players playing Super Rugby, then for the Wallabies, then to an overseas league like Japan before returning for the next Super Rugby campaign.

Moore – who is Australia's most capped hooker – is in favour of sabbaticals if players' welfare will not be risked. He is also confident that Wallabies coach Michael Cheika would keep an eye on it.

"I think it's just a reality now," Moore told the Canberra Times.

"It's something the ARU have identified as a way of keeping guys in Australia long-term, and that's what we want to do.

"We want to work out ways that guys can fulfil their ambitions whilst maximising their time in Australia. If it means guys have got to go to Japan, then so be it. I've got no issue with that.

"The only thing that we need to be careful of is the player welfare – the amount of games and the length of time guys are playing footy.

"But that's up to the individual to manage and the way they negotiate things.

"Each case will be different, each player will have different priorities and the age of the player – all that type of thing will be taken into consideration. I've got full confidence Cheika will work that all out."

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