Nick Bishop Here's what Nick thinks...
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
How to mix backs and forwards at the set-piece!
Backs can help the forwards in the tasks that used to belong solely to the pack – but only if they understand what their roles are and how best to apply their power. Analyst Nick Bishop investigate how that overlapping understanding is evident at the driving maul.
How to find mismatches against the single-line defence
Arguably the biggest change in Rugby’s professional era occurred when the game started to import defensive coaches from League. Analyst Nick Bishop looks at how modern professional sides are looking to break through increasingly tighter rugby league style defences.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
How to blind-side your opponent from scrums!
Defence in the modern game is built around the speed at which the defensive line can move up and mount pressure on its opponents. Analyst Nick Bishop looks at when the offence becomes “How can we offset that momentum? How can we take away some of that speed?”.
The where and when of ‘how to offload’
The offload can be one of the most exciting and rewarding skills in the game of Rugby Union. Analyst Nick Bishop explains how offloading is a particularly valuable skill for teams who know that they will not go into most games with an advantage in physical size and power over their opponents.
What is Creativity? – the curious case of Beauden Barrett versus South Africa
If the notion of creativity can be summarized in one word, that word would be ‘vision’. Better peripheral awareness and depth perception lead to better decision-making, and from this perspective Beauden Barrett’s game in the recent match between New Zealand and South Africa in Wellington was of interest from start to finish. Analyst Nick Bishop reflects on Barrett’s performance in his latest article.