Poll: When is it alright for a rugby player to offer criticism of a coach?

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When do you think it is acceptable for a rugby player to criticize his/ her coach in an interview or public forum?

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Total Votes : 18

Poll: When is it alright for a rugby player to offer criticism of a coach?

Post by Intotouch on Mon 02 Oct 2017, 6:34 pm

In response to the anger that Sean O'Brien's criticism of Warren Gatland's coaching has raised, both here and in the press, I want to ask the V2 members what they think of this question. Personally I was shocked by the degree of anger SOB's comments provoked so I'd like to see if I'm in the minority or majority on this subject. Please vote and leave a comment to clarify your vote if you feel it's necessary. If you'd like me to include another option in the poll let me know.

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Re: Poll: When is it alright for a rugby player to offer criticism of a coach?

Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 02 Oct 2017, 7:18 pm

Whenever. But I'd expect it to bite him or her back occasionally sometimes rightly so.

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Re: Poll: When is it alright for a rugby player to offer criticism of a coach?

Post by Gwlad on Mon 02 Oct 2017, 8:29 pm

I think he is a back stabbing seditious ne'er do well who has put a black mark against his legacy on a great tour

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Re: Poll: When is it alright for a rugby player to offer criticism of a coach?

Post by Intotouch on Mon 02 Oct 2017, 8:50 pm

Thank you for the comments guys but please vote.

Gwlad pick a sentence from the poll or if you don't agree to any suggest one for me to add. It sounds to me like you think that a player criticizing a coach is backstabbing so please pick option 1.

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Re: Poll: When is it alright for a rugby player to offer criticism of a coach?

Post by Gwlad on Mon 02 Oct 2017, 10:28 pm

Intotouch wrote:Thank you for the comments guys but please vote.

Gwlad pick a sentence from the poll or if you don't agree to any suggest one for me to add. It sounds to me like you think that a player criticizing a coach is backstabbing so please pick option 1.

There isn't an option that is suitable, sorry. Guys like this shouldn't be allowed to tour and then betray their team mates with this sort of back room shoite. No tour is perfect and this has done little except tarnish a great Lions tour. Shame on him and you for not prioviding more extreme options Laugh

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Re: Poll: When is it alright for a rugby player to offer criticism of a coach?

Post by Intotouch on Mon 02 Oct 2017, 10:55 pm

Gwlad, I asked in my original post that people suggest another option for the poll if they wanted one. Why not do this? "Never criticizing a coach for any reason at any time" seems the most extreme thing I or anyone could write. What is more extreme than never criticizing? Perhaps never even thinking critical thoughts about a coach? Sorry you'll have have to help me out with a suggestion here.

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Re: Poll: When is it alright for a rugby player to offer criticism of a coach?

Post by Scottrf on Mon 02 Oct 2017, 10:59 pm

The option he wants is 'lynching for anyone involved in criticism of anyone involved with Welsh rugby.'

If they coaching team was all English he wouldn't care one bit.

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Re: Poll: When is it alright for a rugby player to offer criticism of a coach?

Post by Hazel Sapling on Mon 02 Oct 2017, 11:17 pm

He is allowed to criticize whenever he pleases, however I think if you are going to go out on a limb you need to provide critical assessment of why.

SOB has gone on 2 tours with Gatland and clearly knows he won't again. He has waited a few months to voice his criticism. Ireland don't play Wales for 5 months. I see nothing untoward in the timing.

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Re: Poll: When is it alright for a rugby player to offer criticism of a coach?

Post by Gwlad on Tue 03 Oct 2017, 4:46 am

Ok, SOB worked for Gatland and then back stabs him. I might expect that in NZ/Aus but not in NH rugby. Its a disgrace....OP if you publicly criticize your boss, pretty sure you would be looking for another job pdq.

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Re: Poll: When is it alright for a rugby player to offer criticism of a coach?

Post by aucklandlaurie on Tue 03 Oct 2017, 8:06 am

Further I regard it as unprofessional behavior for a player to offer criticism of a sponsor in an interview or public forum.

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Re: Poll: When is it alright for a rugby player to offer criticism of a coach?

Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 03 Oct 2017, 8:13 am

Would you extend it to someone like sonny bill where it conflicts with his religion?

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Re: Poll: When is it alright for a rugby player to offer criticism of a coach?

Post by aucklandlaurie on Tue 03 Oct 2017, 8:27 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Would you extend it to someone like sonny bill where it conflicts with his religion?

 Their collective employment contract covers this very point, wherein players can apply for excusal of promotional duties of sponsors and their products/services under the conscientious objector provisions. I dont recall Sonny Bill ever criticizing his teams banking sponsor.

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Re: Poll: When is it alright for a rugby player to offer criticism of a coach?

Post by Breadvan on Tue 03 Oct 2017, 9:00 am

A great tour because the Lions drew the series? Lions lost 2 and drew one to the provincial sides and needed a red card in the 2nd test and numerous butchered tries by NZ in the 3rd to manage it. I agree there was some stand out performances by the Lions and some great try's scored but certainly not a 'great' tour.
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Re: Poll: When is it alright for a rugby player to offer criticism of a coach?

Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 03 Oct 2017, 9:28 am

Just seeing if though shalt not protest anger had extended from USA yet Laurie!

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Re: Poll: When is it alright for a rugby player to offer criticism of a coach?

Post by Scottrf on Tue 03 Oct 2017, 11:22 am

Gwlad wrote:Ok, SOB worked for Gatland and then back stabs him. I might expect that in NZ/Aus but not in NH rugby. Its a disgrace....OP if you publicly criticize your boss, pretty sure you would  be looking for another job pdq.

Gatland isn't his boss.

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Re: Poll: When is it alright for a rugby player to offer criticism of a coach?

Post by BamBam on Tue 03 Oct 2017, 12:41 pm

SOB quite rightly couldn't give a stuff about Gatland's opinion of him

Not that he'd care, but I respect him a great deal for not just toeing the company line

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Re: Poll: When is it alright for a rugby player to offer criticism of a coach?

Post by Rugby Fan on Tue 03 Oct 2017, 12:44 pm

Don't think there's a one size-fits-all rule on the question posed in the OP.

We're all going to be influenced by factors like the status of the player (e.g. humble superstar vs underperforming gobsh*te) and what we think of his motives (painful reflection and self-castigation vs buck-passing blame game to sell a book)

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Re: Poll: When is it alright for a rugby player to offer criticism of a coach?

Post by Gwlad on Tue 03 Oct 2017, 1:42 pm

Shame he had everyone's respect after the tour now most think he is a back biting $%^&

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Re: Poll: When is it alright for a rugby player to offer criticism of a coach?

Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 03 Oct 2017, 1:51 pm

Not according to the poll at the top.

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Re: Poll: When is it alright for a rugby player to offer criticism of a coach?

Post by aucklandlaurie on Tue 03 Oct 2017, 2:51 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Just seeing if though shalt not protest anger had extended from USA yet Laurie!

 We treat our Black people better in NZ. but I'd hate to imagine if an All Black refused to do the Haka and preferred to go down on one knee.

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Re: Poll: When is it alright for a rugby player to offer criticism of a coach?

Post by Scottrf on Tue 03 Oct 2017, 2:52 pm

aucklandlaurie wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Just seeing if though shalt not protest anger had extended from USA yet Laurie!

 We treat our Black people better in NZ. but I'd hate to imagine if an All Black refused to do the Haka and preferred to go down on one knee.


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Re: Poll: When is it alright for a rugby player to offer criticism of a coach?

Post by aucklandlaurie on Tue 03 Oct 2017, 2:56 pm

Scottrf wrote:
aucklandlaurie wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Just seeing if though shalt not protest anger had extended from USA yet Laurie!

 We treat our Black people better in NZ. but I'd hate to imagine if an All Black refused to do the Haka and preferred to go down on one knee.


 I like your work there Scotty...LOL

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Re: Poll: When is it alright for a rugby player to offer criticism of a coach?

Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 03 Oct 2017, 3:15 pm

Pretty much the point of that protest Laurie.

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Re: Poll: When is it alright for a rugby player to offer criticism of a coach?

Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 03 Oct 2017, 3:47 pm

SOB can criticise as and when he pleases, he's within his rights to voice an opinion. That said, it's a bit distasteful for a Lions veteran to come across as so critical after partaking in two successful tours (because a draw in NZ can be considered successful to an extent!). Obviously there was a lot more to what he said, but as we're just concentrating on SOB's critique of the Lions/Gatland then he just seems a bit delusional.

I also think nationality plays a part in who criticises what. For instance SOB seems to be getting a free ride as well as praise for some distasteful comments. Gavin Henson voiced his opinion on the Lions and was attacked and vilified for it. He was also repeatedly booed by an Irish crowd (the ones who keep telling us they never boo) during a 6N game for saying that BOD swore at him and pulled his hair. Also Gatland is a kiwi but affiliated with Wales and that's more than enough for some people who want to criticise him for the sake of it.

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Re: Poll: When is it alright for a rugby player to offer criticism of a coach?

Post by aucklandlaurie on Tue 03 Oct 2017, 3:47 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Pretty much the point of that protest Laurie.

  You guys have got me there.....

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Re: Poll: When is it alright for a rugby player to offer criticism of a coach?

Post by aucklandlaurie on Tue 03 Oct 2017, 3:53 pm

So at this point in time 10 people have voted, I was the one that does not agree that a current player can voice his criticism of his coach publicly.

 That sounds about right.

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Re: Poll: When is it alright for a rugby player to offer criticism of a coach?

Post by Scottrf on Tue 03 Oct 2017, 3:54 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:SOB can criticise as and when he pleases, he's within his rights to voice an opinion. That said, it's a bit distasteful for a Lions veteran to come across as so critical after partaking in two successful tours (because a draw in NZ can be considered successful to an extent!). Obviously there was a lot more to what he said, but as we're just concentrating on SOB's critique of the Lions/Gatland then he just seems a bit delusional.

I also think nationality plays a part in who criticises what. For instance SOB seems to be getting a free ride as well as praise for some distasteful comments. Gavin Henson voiced his opinion on the Lions and was attacked and vilified for it. He was also repeatedly booed by an Irish crowd (the ones who keep telling us they never boo) during a 6N game for saying that BOD swore at him and pulled his hair. Also Gatland is a kiwi but affiliated with Wales and that's more than enough for some people who want to criticise him for the sake of it.

You're such a victim.

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Re: Poll: When is it alright for a rugby player to offer criticism of a coach?

Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 03 Oct 2017, 4:19 pm

Does it matter if it's past coach though Laurie snd how much? Would his current t coach even care.

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Re: Poll: When is it alright for a rugby player to offer criticism of a coach?

Post by aucklandlaurie on Tue 03 Oct 2017, 6:46 pm

A current coach would have reason to be nervous, if one of his current senior members goes public criticizing one of his previous coaches. I do not know as a fact, but I somewhat get the feeling that Joe Schmidt will if he hasnt already, got word to SOB to just button it up. 

 A past coach who is also still coaching, is put in a position where he has no right of reply. is he answerable to every ex current player's players allegation? whether frivolous or genuine doesnt come into it.

I am sure we have all been involved with adult teams and have seen instances of players not agreeing with coaches or members of the coaching staff,  however there is a right time and place and avenue for everything but via a public medium  isn't one of them.

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Re: Poll: When is it alright for a rugby player to offer criticism of a coach?

Post by Rugby Fan on Wed 04 Oct 2017, 12:11 am

To some extent, this debate quickly stopped being about what SOB said, and more about how people reacted to what they read he said.

Most pundits who listened to the whole interview, even those who disagree with SOB, see no malice or spite in what he said. He wasn't settling any scores; he was frustrated that things hadn't gone better. Put his comments on the page however, and all that tone and context is gone, so people have overlaid their own, usually to his disadvantage.

Some early criticism suggested SOB was deliberately being controversial because he was being paid (like Dawson and Healey in 2001). He was simply on a podcast with some mates. Others assume he had a book out (like Christian Cullen, Gavin Henson or Mike Catt). Perhaps he will write one but he certainly wasn't speaking out to promote one.

The real context doesn't absolve SOB from all criticism. The fact he felt the need to make a statement afterwards means he realizes he's put people on the spot.

I finally read Jonny Wilkinson's book the other day. It came out in 2011, after the World Cup. It's a pretty harrowing account of a psychotic, self-harming single-mindedness. Wilkinson frequently points the finger at himself, and acknowledges all the advice he wrongly ignored. Still, there are plenty of implicit criticisms of how he was handled by coaches and team mates, and yet I don't recall any of them becoming a talking point.



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Re: Poll: When is it alright for a rugby player to offer criticism of a coach?

Post by Intotouch on Fri 06 Oct 2017, 12:56 am

Thank you all for your feedback. Although only 14 of you voted I think I have a better understanding of why people are so angry with Sean O'Brien. With the exception of two people who think that a player should never voice criticism of a coach until the day he dies (I'm including Gwlad in this although he did not vote) everyone else believe a player has the right to criticize a coach so long as the criticism is fair and honest. So what I'm surmising now is that people are angry with SOB because they don't think his criticism was either.

So I think now that the anger comes, for most people, from the idea that his criticism is unfair. Thanks for the clarity.


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Re: Poll: When is it alright for a rugby player to offer criticism of a coach?

Post by aucklandlaurie on Fri 06 Oct 2017, 3:01 am

Intotouch wrote:Thank you all for your feedback. Although only 14 of you voted I think I have a better understanding of why people are so angry with Sean O'Brien. With the exception of two people who think that a player should never voice criticism of a coach until the day he dies (I'm including Gwlad in this although he did not vote) everyone else believe a player has the right to criticize a coach so long as the criticism is fair and honest. So what I'm surmising now is that people are angry with SOB because they don't think his criticism was either.

So I think now that the anger comes, for most people, from the idea that his criticism is unfair. Thanks for the clarity.


 I think you have completely missed the point.

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Re: Poll: When is it alright for a rugby player to offer criticism of a coach?

Post by Gwlad on Fri 06 Oct 2017, 4:21 am

aucklandlaurie wrote:
Intotouch wrote:Thank you all for your feedback. Although only 14 of you voted I think I have a better understanding of why people are so angry with Sean O'Brien. With the exception of two people who think that a player should never voice criticism of a coach until the day he dies (I'm including Gwlad in this although he did not vote) everyone else believe a player has the right to criticize a coach so long as the criticism is fair and honest. So what I'm surmising now is that people are angry with SOB because they don't think his criticism was either.

So I think now that the anger comes, for most people, from the idea that his criticism is unfair. Thanks for the clarity.


 I think you have completely missed the point.

and the boat to be fair

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Re: Poll: When is it alright for a rugby player to offer criticism of a coach?

Post by SecretFly on Sun 08 Oct 2017, 9:04 pm

Sean O'Brien is Irish and therefore is well within his rights to put the boot into anything on or off the field that he feels might offer a handy cheap shot - (just ask Lord Dowlais for the dossier on that stuff - his cabinets are full)

Of course too, though, were the player English or Welsh or Scottish or French or a Kiwi, he'd then be a scurrilous, backstabbing basterde.  I rest my biass biased, biases, bia? .... case.

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Re: Poll: When is it alright for a rugby player to offer criticism of a coach?

Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Mon 09 Oct 2017, 11:00 am

Is Howley being a crap attack coach that much of a revelation? Nah probably not.

Sean O'Brien had/has nothing to lose by slagging off the Lions coaching styles. The tour might have been drawn and as such is considered a success by some.

That doesn't change the fact that Gatland and his coaching staff made some huge mistakes in selecting the touring party and decisions made on tour. It could have very easily been a series win for the Lions and IMO it was a missed opportunity against a quite vulnerable New Zealand side.

Criticism of the coach is acceptable in my book, especially if the coach is making errors. Granted criticising the coach publicly when he is still in post is tantamount to career suicide, however I doubt Gatland will be head coach for the next tour and I also very much doubt SOB will be in the frame for selection for it either. So SOB was free to say what he said without fear of repercussions.
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Re: Poll: When is it alright for a rugby player to offer criticism of a coach?

Post by R!skysports on Mon 09 Oct 2017, 11:29 am

In all honesty, his interview was not that critical, but did point out that the tour schedule and the training at the start did not work as planned.

I personally thought it was a bit of a shocker tour, that scrambled a draw - but I also thought the Ozzie tour was a shocker that scrambled a 2-1 win when a whitewash was the easiest out come

As I am not a player, I am exempt from the rules in the poll - so will voice my opinion whenever I want :-) Run

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