Raiders coach Ricky Stuart blasts timing of historic mid-year Test between England and NZ




Ricky Stuart has blasted the timing of the historic mid-year Test in the United States between England and New Zealand, calling for rugby league officials to be fair dinkum about player welfare.

Raiders coach Ricky Stuart. Vodafone Warriors v Canberra Raiders, Round 23 of the 2017 NRL Rugby League Premiership season at Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand. 13 August 2017. Copyright photo: Renee McKay /

Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart.

Source: Photosport

The Canberra NRL coach didn't hold back when asked for his thoughts on the international on June 23 in Denver.

"When you've got promoters running your scheduling in regards to international games, the question should be asked how much is the promoter making out of all this?" Stuart said.

"I hear every year player welfare is important and, yet again, we're not thinking about the player.

"If we're going to be fair dinkum about welfare, be fair dinkum."

Despite Stuart's displeasure at the scheduling, the Raiders will release their players if they are selected.

Jordan Rapana, Joe Tapine and Elliott Whitehead are strong contenders to be named in the New Zealand team, while star hooker Josh Hodgson would have been a certainty for England if he we wasn't recovering from knee surgery.

Joseph Tapine urged his side to bounce back from their historic loss in Hamilton.

The Kiwis before taking on Tonga.

Source: Photosport

The Raiders are away to the West Tigers a week before the Test and travel again on June 30 to face Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium.

"I'm a big fan of rep football and international football and that's what you strive to play," Stuart said.

"I strive as a coach to have as many representative players as I possibly can play Origin or for Australia.

"Where's the goodness for the welfare of the player? ... because there's none.

"You can't travel hours and hours and hours on a plane and have, for example, St George play three days later when they get home."

loading error