It's the 33-game, 43-hour ironman effort that makes Wallabies captain Ben Mowen the hardest-working player in Australian rugby, but the ACT Brumbies won't lighten his workload despite fears of player burnout.
Mowen finished a marathon year of rugby in Wales last weekend and will be given a month to recuperate before reporting for Brumbies training on January 6.
The 29-year-old missed just 39 minutes of a gruelling 15-Test campaign for the Wallabies and played every minute of his 18 Super Rugby appearances.
Brumbies and Wallabies teammate Stephen Moore also played in 33 games. The hooker has missed just one Super Rugby game and two Tests in the past two seasons.
Mowen played through the pain of a debilitating neck injury for the last half of the year.
The expanding Super Rugby season, midyear Tests and a hectic international schedule to end the year is putting a strain on Australian players, who have the busiest schedule in the history of the professional era.
Mowen's high workload sets off alarms given the 115-kilogram forward played the most minutes of anyone in Australian rugby this year.
Brumbies director of rugby Laurie Fisher is confident Mowen won't suffer burnout, despite the skipper playing 2601 minutes and missing just two Super Rugby games in the past two seasons.
''It's testament to his personal preparation. He does everything he can to be able to train and to play,'' Fisher said.
''We backed him out of some contact towards the end of the season … you manage the training load sometimes, but I don't think there will need to be any extra rest.
''But his diligence in seeking treatment and doing whatever he can to train or play is the secret to his success.''
The only Brumbies game Mowen missed this year was when he was in Wallabies camp for the British and Irish Lions series.
His workload stacks up against rugby league champion Cameron Smith, who played 33 games in the NRL, State of Origin and the Kangaroos' World Cup triumph.
Manly halfback Daly Cherry-Evans played 34 games, leading his team to the NRL grand final while also playing from the bench for Queensland and the Kangaroos, while cross-code superstar Sonny Bill Williams played 29 games for the Sydney Roosters and New Zealand.
Mowen will be eased back into Brumbies training in January, limited to fitness work before returning to contact training weeks before the season opener on February 22.
Brumbies championship-winning captain Owen Finegan said Mowen could handle the intensity of a 12-month season.
''A season of 33 games is a good innings … you don't have to rest players. If they played in the UK or France, they'd play midweek and get closer to 50 games,'' Finegan said. ''When you're a rugby player you want to play. You manage the load at training. It's a bonus Brumbies players have been getting that Wallabies experience.''
Mowen has won five of his six Tests as captain, including four victories in a row in Europe.
The Brumbies will monitor the workload of their Wallabies contingent when the start training next year. Prop Ben Alexander has missed just two Super Rugby games in the past two years, Moore has only missed one and Christian Lealiifano, Joseph Tomane, Scott Fardy, Matt Toomua, Tevita Kuridrani and Nic White were all on tour with the Wallabies.