Is it time the Six Nations packed down behind the Nations Championship concept?
World Rugby’s plan for a ground-breaking annual Nations Championship uniting both hemispheres appeared to have little support when revealed last month but is it actually a concept we should all be embracing? Writer Graham Jenkins looks at the merits of the plan.
How Warren Gatland won the preparation war in Cardiff
Warren Gatland’s knowledge of the game in the UK and Ireland is anything but one-sided. He has coached in Ireland, Wales and with Wasps in England and more importantly, he has coached on three consecutive British & Irish Lions tours. Analyst Nick Bishop details how that ‘inside knowledge’ gave him and Wales a priceless advantage against England in Cardiff.
Super Rugby 2019 Performance Preview
The Gainline Analytics team have taken their Cohesion and TWI markers to the Super Rugby competition starting this weekend. Simon and Ben have analysed how each team and conference is likely perform and why?
How to play the ‘libero’ like Faf de Klerk
The ‘libero’ is an evocative term in the Soccer vocabulary. It describes the free role played from a defensive position occupied by outstanding players like Germany’s Franz Beckenbauer, Ronald Koeman from the Netherlands, and Gaetano Scirea and Franco Baresi of Italy. Eventually the libero died out of the professional arm of the game with the demise of man-marking. However as Analyst Nick Bishop illustrates in the use of the scrum-half as the free man on defence have occurred recently in rugby through players like South African Faf de Klerk.
The Hidden Side of the 6 Nations
Our friends at Gainline Analytics have had close look at the prospects of this year’s 6 nations tournament. It has been a moving feast in Northern Hemisphere Rugby especially at club level. Club and Test do not act in isolation however these effects take time to manifest. GAIN LINE Analytics research into teams show some very clear correlations over the long term around this aspect. They have taken a look at the prospects of this years 6 nations sides and the effect of their club setup and the draw might have on their prospects.
Are 'foracks' the future?
Last week Eddie Jones introduced the possibility of in the future backs playing the in the forwards. Writer Graham Jenkins, in his latest article, looks at whether Jones’ comments have merit or are just pre 6N tournament banter.
What attention to detail at the cleanout really means
Ireland’s Joe Schmidt already coaches with the same values as his All Black counterparts, Sir Graham Henry and Steve Hansen. He insists on high standards of behaviour both on and off the field, on the need to ‘sweep the sheds’ and take responsibility for every individual action. I believe this makes him a New Zealand head coach-in-waiting. Analyst Nick Bishop explores the attention to detail from Joe Schmidt’s Irish team in his latest article.
Is there a right time to walk away?
In the cut-throat world of elite sport, unfortunately coaches do not always get to choose when they step away from a role with their future more often than not defined by their employers. In his latest article Graham Jenkins examines the decision of the leading coaches who have met the success criteria of their bosses yet still opt to move on all the more interesting and perhaps revealing.
Getting your defence right: when to ‘dig’ and when to ‘wrap’
It is probably no accident that the teams with Farrell-coached defences only lost two of the six Tests they played against the All Blacks. Against other opponents in the same time-frame, New Zealand have scored tries for fun, averaging a runaway 5.7 tries per match on their way to a 90% plus win rate. Analyst Nick Bishop explores one of Ireland’s key breakdown defence strategies when to ‘wrap’ around into a new position, and when to ‘dig’ for a turnover after a tackle has been made.
The most successful coaches - is there a secret to success
It’s clear that there’s no hard and fast plan to becoming a great coach. However our friends at Coach-logic take a look at some legends in their own disciplines, and how these giants have bucked the trend and are the benchmark that so many others are measured against.
Farrell spearheads the case for the defence
Ireland’s defence was pivotal in their win over the All Blacks last weekend. Graham Jenkins identifies who and how Ireland managed to shackle the most potent attacking team in the world.
How to attack with the box-kick
The perception of ‘negative play’ in rugby is often associated with kicking the ball. The idea that a team which can no longer think of anything positive to do with the ball, kicks it away instead. Analyst Nick Bishop looks at how kicking is now about creating opportunity for the offence, rather than simply to move the ball off the field of play.