According to this report in the London Independent, the International Rugby Board isn’t making the upcoming 2011 Rugby World Cup easy on the “Developing Nations.” While the top tier teams have plenty of time to recover between matches, teams like the U.S., Russia and other “not so important” nations are going to stack up their matches like cordwood, with not as much time to recover.
From the story:
And no shock either that the poor bloody infantry – the likes of Namibia, Georgia, USA and Russia – have again been handed horrendous itineraries. The mathematics of playing in four pools of an uneven number of teams (five) always guarantees someone will have to back up rapidly from match to match, but first-time qualifiers Russia face four Tests in 17 days from 15 September (v USA) to 1 October (v Australia). Namibia face Fiji on 10 September and Samoa four days later, then South Africa on 22 September and Wales on the 26th. The top six established unions all have at least five days between matches. So much for encouraging the very countries in which the World Cup is supposed to be propagating the game.
It’s interesting that the teams with the depth and experience to play matches closer together, those top tier teams such as Australia, England, etc, get more time to recover, while the nations that the International Rugby Board wants to expand into – again the U.S., Russia, Georgia, etc. – get screwed over.