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Nick Bishop Here's what Nick thinks...

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About Nick Bishop

Nick has worked as a rugby analyst and advisor to Graham Henry (1999-2002), Mike Ruddock (2004-2006) and latterly Stuart Lancaster (2011-2015). He also worked on the 2001 British & Irish Lions tour to Australia and produced his first rugby book with Graham Henry at the end of the tour. Since then, three more rugby books have followed, all of which of have either been nominated for, or won national sports book awards. The latest is a biography of Phil Larder, the first top Rugby League coach to successfully transfer over to Union. It is entitled “The Iron Curtain”. Nick has also written or contributed to four other books on literature and psychology.
“He is currently writing articles for The Roar and The Rugby Site, and working as a strategy consultant to Stuart Lancaster and the Leinster coaching staff for their European matches.”

Nick Bishop's latest articles

Defending the 13 channel – the modern way

In the recent 1st test of the series, the contest between New Zealand’s wide attack and the French defence of the same area promised to be one for connoisseur, and so it proved. In the current pair of articles, Analyst Nick Bishop first examines how France’s defence in the 13 channel succeeded initially. In next week’s second articl the reasons why the All Blacks’ attack wrested control.

How back-line communication helps ‘spot’ attacking opportunities

In the modern professional era, it is no longer enough to rely on one or two players – typically the numbers 9 and 10 – to see and make all of the attacking play. Analyst Nick Bishop looks at how teams are building their backline ‘game intelligence’

Why the Jaguares are drawing a biarticular line in Super Rugby

In round 11 of Super Rugby 2018, the Jaguares achieved their first landmark win on New Zealand soil, and they did on the back of a huge scrum effort against the Blues. Under new coach Mario Ledesma (another of the big-scrumming hooker brigade) there are distinct signs that they are retrieving their mojo in their traditional strength – scrummaging. Analyst Nick Bishop looks at why it was so effective against the Blues and other Super teams.

Is the ‘jackal’ a protected species? – Southern Hemisphere (part two)

Round 9 of Super Rugby has just been completed, approximately halfway through the regular season. Ideal stage for analyst Nick Bishop to judge whether a consensus point of balance has been reached in the refereeing of the new breakdown laws in the Southern Hemisphere.

Is the ‘jackal’ a protected species? – Northern Hemisphere (part one)

What is the true value of a player who can compete for the ball with his hands on the ground, after a tackle has been made? The window for players to have a crack at the ball on the deck, looked to have shrunk in the phrasing of the Law 16 amendment. Analyst Nick Bishop looks at how in practice, consistent refereeing of the new laws has proved far from simple and its effect on the world game. In part 1 of 2, Nick reviews the interpreation and effect on northern hemisphere rugby.

Is it time for the 6 o’clock pass to return?

Analyst Nick Bishop explores the relationship between individual passing techniques – passing by ‘rotation’ or by ‘extension’ and their ability to open up the width of the field on attack.

How T.J.Perenara influences the ‘new’ breakdown for the Hurricanes

The new breakdown rules are having a strong impact on this year’s Super Rugby competition, as defensive coaches struggle to come up with new solutions to the erosion of the tackler’s influence on the ruck. Analyst Nick Bishop looks at how the Number 9’s role is changing in securing the ball.

Winning “the race” & targeting weaknesses at lineout time

Jase Ryan’s excellent series on lineout execution focuses on technique which can optimize your ability to win lineout ball quickly and easily. Analyst Nick Bishop observes how it works in a modern professional lineout at the elite end of the game, which combines accuracy at the throw & catch with smart calling to expose opposition weaknesses.

Constructing the lineout drive as an attacking setpiece

At the top level of the game, the lineout drive has become the set-piece weapon of choice for many successful teams, especially in the Northern Hemisphere.
At international level, the best driving lineout in the world has probably belonged to Ireland over the past few years. Analyst Nick Bishop shows how Ireland have become expert at taking what the opponent gives them and manipulating the maul upfield.

Winning the fight on the ground

Josh Syms’ excellent new series, focusing on techniques adopted by both sides at the breakdown, illustrates the amount of coaching time now devoted to body positions in contact. Analyst Nick Bishop looks at how the Lions used it to great effect in the 2017 All Blacks series.