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Super 14 timing under question

AUSTRALIAN Rugby Union chief John O'Neill has called for a later start to next season's Super 14 after South African flanker Juan Smith collapsed with heat exhaustion.

Smith was taken to a Brisbane hospital on Sunday night and placed on a saline drip after he succumbed to heat stress in the dressing room following the Cheetahs' 3-22 loss to Australia's Queensland Reds. The game was played in temperatures exceeding 32 degrees Celsius and humidity of 66 percent and both teams struggled to cope with the extreme conditions. The tournament normally starts in mid-February, during the harsh Australian summer, but O'Neill said he would be pushing for a later start next season.


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