Succession

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Succession

Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 05 Dec 2018, 8:21 am

Just read the comments from Nigel Melville on the next England manager.
"He would have been on our radar, of course he would," said Melville.

"He's an English coach, and all English coaches we are talking to now. But obviously Andy won't be available."

Amid the wums of nationality etc it's raised some questions for me. How important is succession from within a group? New Zealand seem to like to bed coaches in and the noises from the rfu previous to this was that the next head coach would be nurtured. This seems to suggest it will be a bit of a fresh slate.

i can see the benefits of both if you consider the quality of the coaches are equal but either plan starts to crumble a little if there isn't clear direction from above. Has the interim nature of the Melville impacted thinking a bit. Should it be a Liverpool boot room plan or the best person for the job even if they then don't hit the ground running.

Personally happy for a wide net to be cast as I favour McCall or Baxter in the hot seat. Quite happy for Farrell to gain great experience and step into the England role should he apply later on.

I'd still love to see the same rules on eligibility on coaches as with players however.

Full quotes etc here along with a view of premiership relegation which could impact the national team as well:
England: Andy Farrell might have been next boss, says RFU chief - http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/46447583

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Re: Succession

Post by Collapse2005 on Wed 05 Dec 2018, 9:55 am

Will Lancaster be the next England coach? Why not? Great manager, very knowledgeable, very dedicated etc. I can see him being back up coach to Eddie Jones for a couple of years after the RWC and then taking over.

If that's what he wants I hope he gets it. Great man.

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Re: Succession

Post by BamBam on Wed 05 Dec 2018, 10:01 am

I also read that he said something about Blockhead being on the radar, which rather amused me.

Its a weird one - I think it depends on how well Eddie Jones does really. If they bring a coach in to work under him and learn the international game, then they are successful, the new coach will be looked on favourably.

If the Jones era crashes and burns, any coaches within the set up will have an uphill task getting the fans on side as most will be calling for a clean sweep and look to start again with a new set up - pretty much what happened with Lancaster / Farrell, and we now have lost a top class defence coach who may go on to great things with Ireland as head coach


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Re: Succession

Post by LordDowlais on Wed 05 Dec 2018, 3:27 pm

The next England coach could be Warren Gatland.

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/england-hold-talks-warren-gatland-15507422

I hope all the swipes given to him from the English will go away if this happens.

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Re: Succession

Post by Collapse2005 on Wed 05 Dec 2018, 3:41 pm

LordDowlais wrote:The next England coach could be Warren Gatland.

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/england-hold-talks-warren-gatland-15507422

I hope all the swipes given to him from the English will go away if this happens.

Yeah good idea, he could coach Scotland then afterwards and change his name to Mr sixnations.

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Re: Succession

Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 05 Dec 2018, 4:40 pm

Yikes. Looks to be the Welsh perspective question to Melville. You never know he could sneak in and get the job and go onto be a success with England as Henry and Hanson have with NZ but I wouldn't be too happy with it myself. Seems a bit too slow to react to new players and a bit stubborn. In that respect I've said I'm surprised he's stuck with the same assistant coaches so long. A few fresh ideas can help immensely and stop things becoming tedious and grinding to a halt.see how Ferguson went through assistants at man u.
I guess it could be the fresh start he needs but there are better fits.

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Re: Succession

Post by SecretFly on Wed 05 Dec 2018, 8:54 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:

Personally happy for a wide net to be cast as I favour McCall or Baxter in the hot seat.

That would be quirky if it happened. An Englishman coaching Ireland and an Irishman coaching England.

Sounds like the beginning of a good joke..................

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Re: Succession

Post by SecretFly on Wed 05 Dec 2018, 8:58 pm

I was pondering about where Gatland might go while back and I did give a thought to him being cheeky enough to arrive in the England job. He'd love the media drama of it all. He likes having an inner larf, that lad.

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Re: Succession

Post by Taylorman on Wed 05 Dec 2018, 9:31 pm

Yea gats looks perfect for england. Has all the experience.then just needs scotland for the slam, tho has that in abundance with the lions. thumbsup

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Re: Succession

Post by Pie on Thu 06 Dec 2018, 2:37 am

Taylorman wrote:Yea gats looks perfect for england. Has all the experience.then just needs scotland for the slam, tho has that in abundance with the lions. thumbsup

I expect he is a candidate for NZ as well. Whatever anyone might think he has done wonders with Wales whose pool of player resources is tiny and the Lions

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Re: Succession

Post by yappysnap on Thu 06 Dec 2018, 5:16 am

I read it could be Gats.

PLEASE NO!!!!!!

He is a poor coach

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Re: Succession

Post by yappysnap on Thu 06 Dec 2018, 5:20 am

Baxter has come out and said no to the job when asked rwcently, obvs that could change but tbh he is low down the list

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Re: Succession

Post by Taylorman on Thu 06 Dec 2018, 6:45 am

Pie wrote:
Taylorman wrote:Yea gats looks perfect for england. Has all the experience.then just needs scotland for the slam, tho has that in abundance with the lions. thumbsup

I expect he is a candidate for NZ as well. Whatever anyone might think he has done wonders with Wales whose pool of player resources is tiny and the Lions

Yep. Cant rule him out. Was impressed with his Lions tour presence. Could see him as AB coach.
Be glad to have him there.

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Re: Succession

Post by SecretFly on Thu 06 Dec 2018, 12:28 pm

And he's nice too which is a blessing as AB coach..... Whistle Wink

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Re: Succession

Post by SecretFly on Thu 06 Dec 2018, 12:31 pm

Incidentally, maybe it's already in the bag.  Maybe the paper already got signed with the X (the AB contract that is)

What?  That will have been the fourth Welsh coach in a row to go on to ABs if it happened? Pivac being the 4th in the future.

I smell conspiracy theory all over this one.  Wales are in cahoots with New Zealand.  Declassify the f**king dossiers this instant!

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Re: Succession

Post by Sharkey06 on Thu 06 Dec 2018, 1:52 pm

I think an issue is that England do not have one general playing style, unlike New Zealand, etc where all their sides play a broadly similar game. This lack of consistency does not encourage progression planning. I am sure that a Baxter England team would be very different to a Jones England team, therefore bringing him into the England fold before Jones retires/is sacked would be disruptive.

The alternative is to use the current England football model where you promote a youngish unproven coach from running the under 21s into the seniors role. It has worked well with Southgate, but wasn't such a success when we tried with Lancaster. I think trying to apply the 'New Zealand model' because it has been very successful to the England game wouldn't necessarily work.

Until the RFU take complete control of the players as Ireland and New Zealand are able to do, then I think we will always have an issue and we will default to simply picking the most successful coach that we can get because we don't have an agreed playing style. And I think Gats would be a good option for England - bags of international experience, knows the England club game/politics, is a pragmatic coach who will play to the limitations of his playing pool and gets results.

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Re: Succession

Post by SecretFly on Thu 06 Dec 2018, 2:05 pm

Sharkey06 wrote:I think an issue is that England do not have one general playing style, unlike New Zealand, etc where all their sides play a broadly similar game.  This lack of consistency does not encourage progression planning.  I am sure that a Baxter England team would be very different to a Jones England team, therefore bringing him into the England fold before Jones retires/is sacked would be disruptive.

The alternative is to use the current England football model where you promote a youngish unproven coach from running the under 21s into the seniors role.  It has worked well with Southgate, but wasn't such a success when we tried with Lancaster.  I think trying to apply the 'New Zealand model' because it has been very successful to the England game wouldn't necessarily work.

Until the RFU take complete control of the players as Ireland and New Zealand are able to do, then I think we will always have an issue and we will default to simply picking the most successful coach that we can get because we don't have an agreed playing style.  And I think Gats would be a good option for England - bags of international experience, knows the England club game/politics, is a pragmatic coach who will play to the limitations of his playing pool and gets results.

The only thing that went wrong with the Lancaster experiment is that Burgess add-on decision LATE in his tenure.  Now maybe that was all his decision but maybe it was more an overall agreement within the larger RFU admin family plus coaching.  
So maybe Lancaster personally destroyed the rhythm that the English team were in prior to the arrival of Burgess.... or maybe he was too timid and allowed himself to be coaxed to add that player.  Has that episode ever been fully explained?  Do we know it was all Lancaster's decision?  Has it ever been done in detail by the media?  I don't know so if someone does, by all means enlighten me.
Anyway,  it's very obvious now that that one decision threw England completely off-rhythm (bad blood, team jealousies, tools-put-down by players etc etc.)

So yeah, Lancaster made an error.  But he was a good coach.  I said it back then and I'm still saying it when Leinster agreed with me and took him on.

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Re: Succession

Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 06 Dec 2018, 2:19 pm

Coaching team decision maybe not all Lancaster. The world cup was a little wider than that in so far we then went away from the game plan we'd played in the 6ns to 1 more focused on the forwards. It did look like some panicked decisions and bad stamina to strength training.

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Re: Succession

Post by SecretFly on Thu 06 Dec 2018, 2:24 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Coaching team decision maybe not all Lancaster. The world cup was a little wider than that in so far we then went away from the game plan  we'd played in the 6ns to 1 more focused on the forwards. It did look like some panicked decisions and bad stamina to strength training.

Sour moods will do all that though. It's clear that Burgess feels his inclusion put a lot of noses out of joint. And that's the feeling I had back then too when England dramatically imploded. Lots of players just got kicked out of focus for some reason.... and I think it was that one decision.

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Re: Succession

Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 06 Dec 2018, 2:40 pm

Well you also had slate coming in for a debut albeit late on in the piece. People will pick it apart and focus on the big issue though. There was nothing wrong with playing Burgess to a point though for me as a blindside rather than midfielder but the balance of him and Barrett was bleurgh.
That decision certainly contributed to his downfall though you had people calling for his head long before as you always will do for England.
I think more ire was directed at Farrell and catt but the whole thing.was.the typically English national organisation reaction of sack them and start again using a polar opposite lead.

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Re: Succession

Post by robbo277 on Thu 06 Dec 2018, 3:02 pm

We were beating Wales and looking good for the quarters until Burgess came off. I'm not saying he was the right decision, but he wasn't the wrong one that's often made out.

The key thing for me is that Lancaster had an 80% win record in the Six Nations and no Championships. He also had an indifferent record against the SH sides. His sides lacked the killer instinct needed to win the big games.

The 2015 World Cup pool stage also wasn't the first time we had a muddled selection policy game-to-game. See also the 2014 tour to New Zealand.

He's not a bad coach, he did bring us forward, but he definitely struggled as England coach. He may have come on a way since then, but how would he be able to handle the increased pressure?

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Re: Succession

Post by SecretFly on Thu 06 Dec 2018, 9:10 pm

robbo277 wrote:We were beating Wales and looking good for the quarters until Burgess came off. I'm not saying he was the right decision, but he wasn't the wrong one that's often made out.


I'm not making a judgement of his ability, robbo. Just calling a spade a spade as regards the obvious tensions that existed when Burgess was around....something he of course recently hinted at and confirmed himself.

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Re: Succession

Post by Taylorman on Thu 06 Dec 2018, 9:26 pm

SecretFly wrote:Incidentally, maybe it's already in the bag.  Maybe the paper already got signed with the X (the AB contract that is)

What?  That will have been the fourth Welsh coach in a row to go on to ABs if it happened?   Pivac being the 4th in the future.

I smell conspiracy theory all over this one.  Wales are in cahoots with New Zealand.  Declassify the f**king dossiers this instant!

One thing in hiring gatland or similar is they are more likely to usher in NH based players back into the fold, particularly for the NH matches. The NH standard is higher now than it was ten years ago and the current options of offering sabbaticals etc is just a band aid for preventing players going overseas.

That would also allow the side to absorb injury and availability issues. It may also mean players are more likely to play club rugby where they choose, the reason we dont select overseas players now.

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Re: Succession

Post by GeordieFalcon on Thu 06 Dec 2018, 11:19 pm

Its tricky...I want an experienced guy who has been successful, won trophies, league titles etc...maybe for multiple
clubs, showing how good he is.

On the other hand I like the idea of a young up and coming English coach who will bring in fresh new ideas, that might actually have the other international teams trying to adapt to US for a change.

So where do you go?

Is an old hugely successful guy like Dean Richards suitable for England? Regardless of the Quins incident...his record is immense and various clubs.

Rob Baxter, fairly young in terms of management, and yet also seemingly very successful? IS he ready..is he likely to leave Exeter?

Or an non Englishman. McCall is an obvious one...plays rugby that's wins which ultimately you want at any level. Saracens on their game are simply brutal...and I would LOVE to see England playing that kind of rugby.

Then theres the current England set. As mentioned the idea is that Jones is already training up the next England manager. Gustard has since bolted...leaving Borthwick. Is he the next England manager?

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Re: Succession

Post by SecretFly on Fri 07 Dec 2018, 12:31 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:

Is an old hugely successful guy like Dean Richards suitable for England?

Look Geordie....

I'm going to say this once and once only. And this comes from a guy who was once and maybe still is deep down an old romantic...old B&W movies, old westerns, old Psychedelic music, old jeans......
..you get the picture.

Now, I'll say this only once... for the third time - the time for nostalgia is over. The time for looking at the old coaching faces is over. The world has turned. It's time for the new generation to be given the reins. They're good enough, they have the brains to adapt to 'new' ways of thinking. The only thing is they don't get trusted enough because the old names keep coming up in relation to International coaching.

I've always, always joked about Jake White being the first go-to man when International sides want a replacement. I've joked about it over the years because his name invariably came up no matter what the Nation was, what Tier it was in, where it was on the planet etc.

So I kinda got more angry than happy when lo and behold, I heard his name brought up again recently in relation to the Australian job potentially becoming vacant. Christ, Mister-It-Could-Be-Me strikes again! Unbelievable.

Time for the top role to jump a generation all over the world (late 30s - 40s). Even NZ should laugh at Gats if he calls up to put in a bid for himself. Good coach but it's just a matter of time. Time for the slippers and watching rugby on the TV instead of on the sidelines.

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Re: Succession

Post by Taylorman on Fri 07 Dec 2018, 1:33 am

Ive a feelling gats is now looking top of the list after no more schmidt or hansen. Id drop fozzie and go with hansen and gats and bring in robertson, gats to take over in two years.
Though i dont know how a haka before and an old mans breakdance after a final will go down. Laugh

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Re: Succession

Post by Rugby Fan on Fri 07 Dec 2018, 5:48 am

When it comes to coaching and managing rugby teams, I'm reminded of what the late Hollywood screenwriter, William Goldman, said about making hit films: "Nobody knows anything".

Whenever a union talks about conducting an extensive search for coaching candidates, they always seem to produce a shortlist which I could think up off the top of my head. Give me access to google for a few minutes, and I could probably do better.

Like many organisations, especially because rugby is relatively new to professionalism, clubs and unions often suffer from the Peter principle. In England, Andy Robinson and Brian Ashton were both promoted too far. The same might be true of Martin Johnson, although the RFU never bothered to establish what he was actually good at, before handing him the top job.

Was Lancaster promoted too far? That's a common theory, now that he seems to be thriving at Leinster in a more subordinate role, but it also ignores the fact that many coaches get better at their jobs, while others can go past their sell-by date.

What is certain, is that a lot or people lauding the achievements of Lancaster and Andy Farrell today, are the same ones who called for Lancaster's head in 2015, and believed Farrell was a destabilising influence, nepotistically favouring his son. It's facinating to see some bemoan the fact we managed to "lose" Andy Farrell. What on earth was Jones supposed to do? He didn't know Farrell, and much of what he heard from the English press and other rugby sources would have been bad.

The grass will always look greener as long as we have no clear idea what we want in a coach. It's not just a problem in England. For a long time, the Australian press lamented that Mick Byrne was a successful skills coach with the All Blacks. They wanted him at the Wallabies. He's been on the ARU payroll for two years now, and he's already one of the figures being blamed for Australia's lack of success. There's no analysis of why he might have done well in one environment but apparently not in another.

England have tried a number of different approaches when appointing coaches, but we don't seem to learn much from our history. I though it was daft when Jones was appointed with the specific brief to "get results", and then the RFU added a rider that he was expected to develop English coaching talent too. If it's all about results, then give the man a free hand. As it turns out, that's what Jones has done anyway, appointing a Kiwi defence coach, and Australia attack coach.

If we want English coaches in the national set-up, then you can't just rely on whoever the head coach is to find and hire them. The RFU has to be constantly cultivating talent. Jim Mallinder works with the RFU now. Is he a busted flush, or does he still have a lot to offer, as Lancaster seems to, since they are a similar age? Which reminds me, Richard Cockerill is actually two years younger than Stuart Lancaster.

How good are people like Ally Hepher, Dave Walder, Rory Teague, Joe Worsley, Alex King, Alex Sanderson and Perry Freshwater, who are (or were, in the case of Teague) coaching in top leagues. I'd hope the RFU is keeping in touch with them all.

We probably aren't, however. There's a highly successful England rugby coach, with a proven record of adapting his methods to get the best out of different kinds of players, and yet he's rarely in the discussion. If I was the RFU, I'd eat humble pie and get Ben Ryan involved somewhere. I wouldn't even mind seeing him as out next head coach, as he could bring the kind of fresh eye that Woodward once had.

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Re: Succession

Post by yappysnap on Fri 07 Dec 2018, 6:46 am

Really good post there RF, sums up yhe RFU and other unions perfectly. As well as the toxic culture in the media that annoints new coaches then looks to shoot them down a moment later.

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Re: Succession

Post by GeordieFalcon on Fri 07 Dec 2018, 4:04 pm

SecretFly wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:

Is an old hugely successful guy like Dean Richards suitable for England?

Look Geordie....

I'm going to say this once and once only.  And this comes from a guy who was once and maybe still is deep down an old romantic...old B&W movies, old westerns, old Psychedelic music, old jeans......
..you get the picture.

Now, I'll say this only once... for the third time - the time for nostalgia is over.  The time for looking at the old coaching faces is over.  The world has turned.  It's time for the new generation to be given the reins.  They're good enough, they have the brains to adapt to 'new' ways of thinking.  The only thing is they don't get trusted enough because the old names keep coming up in relation to International coaching.

I've always, always joked about Jake White being the first go-to man when International sides want a replacement.  I've joked about it over the years because his name invariably came up no matter what the Nation was, what Tier it was in, where it was on the planet etc.

So I kinda got more angry than happy when lo and behold, I heard his name brought up again recently in relation to the Australian job potentially becoming vacant.  Christ, Mister-It-Could-Be-Me strikes again!  Unbelievable.

Time for the top role to jump a generation all over the world (late 30s - 40s).  Even NZ should laugh at Gats if he calls up to put in a bid for himself.  Good coach but it's just a matter of time.  Time for the slippers and watching rugby on the TV instead of on the sidelines.

Not sure I agree.
Richards for example (and he was only an example above, along with Baxter etc) is managing a squad on a very low budget, and has the ability to get the best out of players. He has the side drilled and at the same time playing some breathtaking rugby when they get going..(admittedly not a lot this season) and wins against Toulon and Montpellier are huge scalps for us this season.

Age doesn't concern me...its the ability to manage, play the correct rugby at the right times, his teams showing intelligence on the pitch and the ability to win important games.

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Re: Succession

Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 07 Dec 2018, 4:48 pm

If not for that blood he'd be class for england. Unlikely to get a chance. Would love to see the coach opposite him tonight have a role in England coaching as well. Not as head to start but he like Dean gets so much from their players.

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Re: Succession

Post by SecretFly on Sat 08 Dec 2018, 10:25 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:

Age doesn't concern me...its the ability to manage, play the correct rugby at the right times, his teams showing intelligence on the pitch and the ability to win important games.

OK Age doesn't concern me either, Geordie - as always, there was a generous dollop of flippancy to my comments.

But also yeah...a degree of truth.  Gatland for example started National coaching at 35.  Schmidt 45.  Jones 40. Cheika 47. Hansen 42.  
I wouldn't suggest you're at your best as a coach who starts International earlier than later - I'm just saying club and National coaching are two different beasts and the earlier younger promising coaches dip their toes in (at the deep end) the quicker they adapt and potentially flourish.  Can you really teach old dogs new tricks? - do they have the time or patience to adapt old habits?  And if they're still good enough in theory, then why haven't they sought out International coaching earlier themselves (psychology)

But yeah, I'd still choose a 60 year old coach if he still coached a successful International brand of rugby.  He'd have to leave his slippers at home though.

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Re: Succession

Post by ebop on Sat 08 Dec 2018, 11:30 am

A ‘so-called’ tier 1 national team with a foreign coach should have an asterisk next to their record. Kind of like what happens with those cheating drug assisted Eastern Europeans at the olympics.
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Re: Succession

Post by SecretFly on Sat 08 Dec 2018, 11:46 am

Ireland - World Cup Holders 2019 *

Looks good, ebop. Good idea OK

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Re: Succession

Post by No 7&1/2 on Sat 08 Dec 2018, 12:45 pm

Hey it's either nh rugby coach or walkabout bar staff.

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Re: Succession

Post by Rugby Fan on Sat 08 Dec 2018, 1:23 pm

ebop wrote:A ‘so-called’ tier 1 national team with a foreign coach should have an asterisk next to their record.

Are you sure? That means we'll have to put an asterisk against New Zealand's Commonwealth Games gold medal, and their World Cup sevens title.

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Re: Succession

Post by SecretFly on Sat 08 Dec 2018, 9:19 pm

Ah sure we'll negotiate. We won't be mean about it. Let's get around the table and negotiate terms.

I think if we're serious about the talks, we should have an agreement sometime by January 2068.

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Re: Succession

Post by The Oracle on Sat 08 Dec 2018, 10:18 pm

It’s not like there are no Europeans in NZ, right?! I’ve got some vague memory of people travelling to NZ for a better life and prospects, settling down, treaties being signed in Waitangi, starting up rugby, letting the indigenous population play (eventually). Sure seems like a lot of European-looking fellas have been head coach of New Zealand in....well....all of my living memory. Talk about double standards Wink

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Re: Succession

Post by Cyril on Sat 08 Dec 2018, 10:49 pm

Don’t forget that loads of New Zealanders are descended from convicts sent to Australia who were banned from there and went to NZ to escape further punishment. If Aus thought you were scum in those days you know you were pretty low. That’s the great-granny and great-grandad of some posters on here.

Anyway, a lot of us here are British. Just some of our family didn’t steal bread.

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Re: Succession

Post by SecretFly on Sat 08 Dec 2018, 11:25 pm

Some of my family stole a potato..e. - and of course got transported for spelling it wrong in the 'hold up' note.

Hedge schools - useless for gramere, spheling and things like that.

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Re: Succession

Post by Cyril on Sat 08 Dec 2018, 11:41 pm

I had no idea Dan Quale was Irish. It does make some sense now. He had his chips a while back.

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Re: Succession

Post by SecretFly on Sat 08 Dec 2018, 11:45 pm

It wasn't only a crime for Dan Quale. It's a crime in all poliet soecities to miseplac onse ees.

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Re: Succession

Post by Rugby Fan on Sun 09 Dec 2018, 2:26 am

Rugby Fan wrote:...Which reminds me, Richard Cockerill is actually two years younger than Stuart Lancaster...
In the Telegraph today:
Richard Cockerill has emerged as a surprise contender to replace Eddie Jones as England head coach. Nigel Melville, the Rugby Football Union’s interim chief executive who is heading up the search for a successor to Jones, said that he had been impressed by the former England hooker’s impact at Pro 14 side Edinburgh.

This sort of reporting annoys me. Have we all got memories like goldfish? If you are doing due diligence on coaching candidates, then why wouldn't you consider Cockerill? Even if he hadn't gone on to work with Edinburgh, then it would be negligent to not at least interview him.

One of the hardest decisions to make is one which cuts against prevailing wisdom. Nobody wanted Stuart Lancaster but Leinster decided to hire him, and it has worked out. New Zealand's decision to retain Graham Henry proved a major turning point for the World Cup fortunes of the All Blacks.

It's easy to choose someone who has a nice, shiny record of recent success, and lots of flattering headlines in the press. When you go against the grain, it's because you trust your own judgement about a man's ability, rather than other people's. One advantage of doing so, is that you can also see more clearly when things aren't going the way you expect. If you've mostly relied on public approval, then you can find yourself in a spot if turns against you. I've never been entirely convinced that the RFU knows what kind of man they need, or how to evaluate him.

This isn't to say that Cockerill is that right candidate. He's a hands-on coach, with a patchy record of delegating, and we are already finding out some of the disadvanatges of that approach with Eddie Jones. It might be that the most suitable man for an England job is someone who can run a team of coaches, and spend his time dealing with the media, RFU, clubs, sponsors, and supporters. I don't think Dean Richards ought to be considered for the England job because of bloodgate, but he certainly fits that description.

The RFU needs to consider what kind of coaching approach they want, and look for men who fit the bill, whatever their current standing in the game. Alternatively, if they find a man with some outstanding traits but not others, they should hire him but then ensure he gets full support in areas where he isn't so surefooted. We didn't do that with either Lancaster or Johnson, which was an institutional failure.

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Re: Succession

Post by SecretFly on Sun 09 Dec 2018, 10:50 am

Rugby Fan wrote: Alternatively, if they find a man with some outstanding traits but not others, they should hire him but then ensure he gets full support in areas where he isn't so surefooted. We didn't do that with either Lancaster or Johnson, which was an institutional failure.

Interesting point.

As far as I can recall, (perhaps a Leinster interview at some stage) Lancaster alluded to his time in England as a time when he felt forced/was obligated to do so much of the business side that he neglected to an extent the bit he enjoyed most - the coaching.  Now, I don't think he was blaming RFU for applying pressure on him, it was more a tone of what he mishandled himself, or what pressure of the job made him concentrate on...etc.  He felt he involved himself too much in the admin/logistics side of running such a massive Unit as England International and that diluted his attention away from specifically coaching.

Now, I'm a firm believer in the concept that Head Coach should have the Presidential role - ie, in full control of the product that is produced.  He should take the plaudits when his team is doing well - he should take a big slice of the hit when his team is under-performing.  He should choose (within the limits of budget and availability) the coaches he wants to assist him and the players he wants to play for him.  This belief has always informed my dislike of the 'Director' role.  The Director supposedly operates behind the scenes on organising the many processes of success or failure and hires a 'Head Coach' to do the work on the training ground/in the game.

I don't know how England really operates.  I don't know how much of the England Head Coach role is Officially a Director role.  I don't know how many logistics/admin/scouts/advisors etc operate behind the scenes officially.  

My point is that I don't know how much of the behind the scenes work Lancaster was expected to be responsible for in terms of his contract or how much he simply felt pressured to get involved in outside contract commitments?

Anyway.............. my round-up point is this:  It's obvious why an International coach in a tier1 Nation would feel compelled to fill his head with all aspects of organisation.  It's his career on the line more than most.  He gets his head on TV pre and post game.  He has to do the tactics, the training, the interviews.  There is a lot of weight on his shoulders.  So it's natural that he wants to feel that the entire operation is his baby.  

The problem arises when such a coach perhaps admits behind the scenes that he feels smothered by the detail and feels he's not getting enough time to concentrate on the practicalities of his team preparations.  Who steps in?  A few very good strategists and logistics people to take the strain off the background obligations or a defined Director?  As soon as a defined Director appears - the reputation and aura of a Head Coach begins to dwindle.  Now the Director begins to be asked some of the questions in Interview, now the Director begins to set out HIS ideas on where HE is taking the team.  The Head Coach (the game strategy guy) becomes merely hired help to get the job done.

I remember when Rob Andrew was director of elite rugby.  He was a constant visual presence perched above incumbent Head Coaches - Lord of the manor as it were.  Very symbolic and quite belittling to the guy doing the hard graft and taking it in the neck for bad performances.

So, if a coach like Lancaster needs to be left to do the coaching at such a big organisation then where are the potent background guys with NO EGO who would agree to take the strain off without looking for the kudos?  That's kinda the problem as I see it.  Head Coach should be President - but yes, it's a big job and requires a lot of suitable assistance.

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Re: Succession

Post by Rugby Fan on Sun 09 Dec 2018, 12:00 pm

SecretFly wrote:...I remember when Rob Andrew was director of elite rugby.  He was a constant visual presence perched above incumbent Head Coaches - Lord of the manor as it were....
I have more time for Andrew than most (well, virtually all). Andrew was quite forthright in his view about what went wrong with the England World Cup campaign. When it was put to him that, as a senior RFU man, he should have stepped in when he identified problems, he pointed out that he had no authority over Lancaster, or any part of the national side. After Lancaster's temporary appointment was confimed, Andrew's role was to close the deal with the Premiership, and oversee elite player development (a job now being done by Dean Ryan).

Andrew had tried to recruit Wayne Smith to work alongside Lancaster, but that hadn't come off. He now thinks that someone with the stature of Smith was sorely missed, as the England coaching team got caught up with too many distractions. This is an excerpt from his book published in the Telegraph.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/rugby-union/2017/10/08/stuart-lancaster-lost-plot-world-cup-treated-slow-motion-car/

...All head coaches are control freaks in their own ways, especially around the matches and tournaments they know will define them, and Stuart became pretty dictatorial in the way he ran the show in 2015. The Burgess business revealed him at his most obsessive: he was clearly not happy with his options at No 12 and had made up his mind that Sam offered him the nearest thing to a way out, despite the reservations of those who had not seen anything from him at club level with Bath to suggest that he was even remotely up to speed with the realities of midfield play at Test level.

To my mind, it was a simple error of judgement: simple, and enormously costly. Stuart had made such a big thing about the importance of fighting for the honour to wear the shirt, yet in the frenzy of an impending World Cup he allowed something to take root in his mind that directly contradicted the very principles on which he had rebuilt the culture of the team. It was massively unsettling for a bunch of willing individuals who had been through a fair bit since coming together and had become very tight-knit as a playing group...

...The heat and intensity of a World Cup on English soil undoubtedly had its effect on Stuart, who flew directly in the face of his own good judgment at important moments and ended up paying a heavy price. With Wayne there to support him, things might have turned out differently. Wayne might even have talked Stuart out of shouldering additional responsibilities just when he should have been narrowing his focus and directing it solely on the one thing that mattered: the national team and its performance on the global stage...

...My view of Stuart Lancaster now? He was undone by his workload – a self-inflicted wound in many ways. I wouldn’t expect him to agree with the analysis, but I believe he took his eye off the ball. Instead of concentrating on a single, overwhelmingly important project, on agenda item No  1, Stuart became tangled up in all sorts of extraneous matters. This dipping in and out of subject areas of minimal relevance to the primary task in hand was a distraction that could and should have been avoided...

As I say, not many appreciated Andrew's views but I don't think he presented them to absolve himself of blame. Andrew is too bloody-minded to care what others think of him. I'd love to hear Lancaster's side. There's no doubt he'd get a more sympathetic hearing now, and it would be fascinating to know where he felt let down. However, he also doesn't strike me as the kind of man who wants to blame others when he feels responsibility himself, so perhaps we won't know. Martin Johnson is another man who doesn't play those kinds of games: we don't know what he really thinks of his time as England manager either.

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Re: Succession

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