The Canberra Raiders rugby league coach and former international 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 genuine about player welfare.
Stuart didn't hold back when asked for his thoughts on the international in Denver on June 23rd.
"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.
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."