Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes believes the group of Worcestershire players in action in Australia this winter will reap the benefits.

Eight of the county's players headed Down Under in October at the end of the domestic season and will not be returning until the beginning of March when Worcestershire undertake a pre-season trip to Abu Dhabi for the second year running.

Rhodes points to the example of former Worcestershire opener Phil Jaques who felt the rewards of regularly playing in England and his native Australia and is confident his own players will gain in the same way.

He said: "An old adage is practice with match intensity so why not play matches? Everytime they go into bat or bowl there is pressure so therefore they are going to learn so much more, so much quicker.

"Will they get burn-out. No I don't think so. They are all young and enthusiastic and keen and i'm pretty sure they will benefit and improve twice as quick because they are playing in the summer and in the winter.

"I look back at Phil Jaques who is a guy I admire so much for his abilities as a cricketer. He improved no-end as a player through playing non-stop in England-Australia, England-Australia.

"It was almost like he was learning on his feet every single time he went to the wicket and that's what we want our lads to do with bat or ball."

Ben Cox and Jack Shantry (Greenvale Kangaroos), Joe Leach (North Canberra Gungahlin), Richard Oliver (Geelong City), Ross Whiteley (Prospect), Joe Clarke (South Perth), Ed Barnard (Queanbeyan Duistrict) and Alex Hepburn (Willetton Dragons) are currently in Australia.