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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

Why defence does not begin or end with a line-break

One of the main measures of the effectiveness of your defence, was simply to count the number of times the opposition broke your line when they had the ball in hand.

Although that remains a useful statistic, it is no longer the be-all and end-all of defensive measurement. What happens after a line break has been made is equally important as Analyst Nick Bishop details in his latest article.

How to use ‘joined-up thinking’ in your game-plan

How do you find a clear plan of action on a rugby field? Analyst Nick Bishop in his latest article outlines the ‘thinking’ and ‘factors’ to create a successful ‘Joined Up’ game plan.

Is it time for Ardie Savea to start for the All Blacks?

Will the All Black selectors follow Wales coach Warren Gatland’s very successful approach and field 2 No 7s in the loose forwards? Nick Bishop analyses Ardie Savea’s recent development and claim for inclusion in the ABs starting XV.

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.