British & Irish Lions tour
Wallabies adamant over Lions preparation
July 27, 2012
Deans talks tactics with Wallabies Berrick Barnes and Nick Phipps © Getty Images
Australia head coach Robbie Deans is determined to secure an extended mid-season break during next year's Super Rugby competition in order to prepare to their Test series with the British & Irish Lions.
The Super Rugby had a mid-season break this year for the first time, allowing three weekend of Test rugby in June. And Deans is adamant that the Wallabies must be given sufficient rest and preparation before taking on the Lions, who will play nine matches in Australia between June 5 and July 6 next year, with all five Super franchises playing the tourists.
"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."
Australian Rugby Union boss John O'Neill revealed on Friday there is the possibility that the 2013 season could resume without Australian teams following the break. O'Neill said negotiations had already started with South African and New Zealand officials over next year's Super break.
"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 said. "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."
The ARU has also announced that Test tickets will be priced from A$95 (£63) for adults while the remaining six tour matches will have adult entry prices positioned from A$15 (£10) to A$30 (£20).
Test ticket prices have been set at the same levels for all three showdowns between the in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. Adults' prices start at A$95 (£63) for a Bronze category ticket, moving to A$175 for Silver, A$235 (£116) for Gold and A$295 (£196) for Platinum.
O'Neill said Test ticket prices reflected the magnitude of the once in 12 years series, while the other tour matches carried price options consistent with what fans were used to paying to see their favourite Super Rugby teams in action.
"The Test ticket prices we are announcing reflect not just the scarcity of the tour but also its magnitude. They are comparable to the prices we set 10 years ago for the 2003 Rugby World Cup quarter-finals in Australia," said O'Neill.
"We believe these Tests are certainly deserving of equal status. This will be the biggest Rugby event on Australian soil since that Rugby World Cup. At the same time there is some wonderful value around the prices for the non-Test tour matches."
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