Lessons learned from Irish rugby club Munster have inspired Brisbane coach Anthony Seibold to adopt a rotation policy to nurse his young squad through at least 18 straight NRL games.
But Seibold is still nailing down ways to keep fringe Broncos fresh with all feeder competitions scrapped, suggesting players outside the top 17 from Queensland’s NRL teams play each other or join together to take on a combined Sydney outfit.
After perusing the revised 2020 NRL draw, Seibold confirmed he would implement a rotation policy following talks during the coronavirus shutdown with Munster head coach Johann van Graan.
“The two teams that go all the way to the grand final have played 21 or 22 weeks straight,” Seibold said of Munster’s tough European rugby schedule.
“It is something we have never done because we have the bye. To get a player up for 21 or 22 weeks straight is physically and mentally very challenging.
“So if there is an opportunity to rest a player for a weekend and two weeks later rest another if they are looking fatigued … that is something we will get a feel for as we go.
“For us to be consistent and successful we will have to look at our whole squad, not just expect the 17 players to play each week.”
Seibold said he must also find a way to ensure his fringe players are ready to step up to help implement his rotation plan after the major second tier competitions were cancelled for 2020.
He backed the Broncos’ demanding training sessions to prime players outside the top 17 for an NRL call-up in a season where they will play the Sydney Roosters, Parramatta, South Sydney, North Queensland and the Gold Coast twice.
But he said other options had also been discussed.
“Once the NRL gets up and running I think the next thing for clubs and head coaches to look at is how do we get some footy for our team (fringe players),” he said.
“Do we combine with Cowboys and Gold Coast and go and play a Western Sydney team on two or three occasions? It has been suggested at head coaches’ meetings.
“Or do we play some Nines footy against the Gold Coast and Cowboys here in Queensland. I’m not sure how it will work.”