He’s glad to be home for it but Drew Mitchell doesn’t see a bright future for the Brisbane Global Rugby Tens.
The Wallabies winger is excited about playing for French club Toulon in the inaugural edition of the tournament this weekend at Suncorp Stadium.
But with so much packed into the rugby calendar already, and a plenty of top-line stars missing among the 14 teams involved, Mitchell is skeptical as to if it will stick around for the long-term.
“There’s just not enough time, there’s too much footy already as it is,” Mitchell said.
“People aren’t sending full-strength squads.
“I don’t think there’s room for a permanent thing,
“I think a one-off like this is exciting, but I don’t think there’s enough room in the year to keep adding things in.
“Then you’re going to start getting injuries from players and not being able to back up for Tests because of the workloads are getting too much.
“But I guess money drives everything.”
Toulon have left Matt Giteau, Ma’a Nonu, Liam Gill at home, but still boast a strong squad including former Wallaby James O’Connor, Japanese international Ayumu Goromaru and Fiji’s Olympic gold medalist Josua Tuisova.
For Mitchell – who says they haven’t trained specifically for the tens and doesn’t know how seriously they’ll take it – it’s a golden opportunity to finally have a run after a difficult period with groin and hamstring injuries.
“We’re 30-odd weeks into our season and we finish in June. We just happen to have this one week off with the Six Nations,” he said.
“I guess it’s a break, but ideally you’d like to be having your feet up. A few of us haven’t played so much, so it’s a good chance.”
Most Australian franchises have included the majority of their big guns but many star All Blacks are missing, because of a clause in their contracts that demanded a mandatory 12-week rest period for players who toured the northern hemisphere.
However, the involvement of retired greats like Chris Latham, Lote Tuquri and Stephen Larkham as wildcard players adds intrigue and should ensure a light-hearted vibe for the two-day knockout, created by the same company behind the NRL’s Auckland Nines.
It’s anticipated a crowd of around 30,000 will be present for day one.