The Crusaders contingent of the All Blacks may be due some well earned rest during the Tri-Nations following their long Super Rugby campaign spent mostly on the road.
The emotionally draining earthquakes and excessive travelling will have had an affect on all the Crusaders players who were involved in the majority of the team's successful season.
All Blacks assistant coach Steve Hansen confirmed that players such as Kieran Read will need a break to freshen up before the all important World Cup.
Hansen explained that some of the Crusaders had already been around the world three times this year, and would be spared any extra travelling.
"One of the things we've got to make sure we do is allow those guys who have had an emotional trip as well as a long, physical campaign [time to refresh]," Hansen told The Press.
"Super Rugby this year has been tremendously physical, more than anyone expected. Throw in the emotional toll of not having a fixed home and having to travel all the time, and the emotional effect of having earthquakes regularly up there. Those guys have been through a lot.
"To allow them to just take a step back and take a breath and regather themselves is going to be hugely important if we want them to be in good form going into the World Cup.
"We're going to have to be smart about what we do. That might mean giving them a bit of space early in the Tri-Nations. It might be some of them get a bit of space later in the Tri-Nations."
The Crusaders players will be assessed individually by the All Blacks management, but Hansen did identify Read, who has a young family, as a player who was heavily involved in the Super Rugby campaign and could use a break.
"Someone like Kieran Read has had a huge toll. There's been the travel, as I've mentioned, and he played a lot of minutes in the Super 15. Giving players like that the opportunity to rejuvenate will be huge," he said.
"Someone like Richie [McCaw], who's been injured for a lot of the tournament, probably needs to play, and will play."
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