Rugby Coaching Blog | Professional Rugby Advice & Coaching

The Lions do England a favour by David Clarke

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In all the excitement of the Lions announcements, plus all the usual “emotional” guff about bonding and self discovery, the England international management must be pretty pleased.

To go on a Lions tour is very special. For the individual. It will be an amazing experience, but it is unlikely to make them much better players.

It is not good news from a rest and recuperiation point of view. These players are coming off a long season to face one of the strongest club nations in the world, where little quarter is offered. It is not what the doctor, and the countless physios, ordered.

Looking at the England group going away, three are unlikely to play a part in the 2011 Rugby World Cup. Worsley, Vickery and Shaw (so old I played with him at Bristol!) are in their twilight years. Of the others, England will be looking to wrap Flutey in cotton wool, and perhaps Sheridan if they can find enough.

The England players not going, can rest, go on the national tour and start the new season a month ahead of their contemporaries. They will be even more determined to fight their corners when Six Nations time comes around again.

The Irish contingent is interesting because of the average age gap between forwards and backs. Many of the Irish forwards are at the back end of their careers along with Brian O’Driscoll. This could stretch these fine players physically.

Wales should be most worried. They underperformed in the Six Nations. Their coaching staff and players are away from the rebuilding process for at least three months. Several of their crown jewels are not 100% fit now, so need to time to recover. Make a diary note to see how many of the thirteen players are fit for the autumn internationals.

So it is the best of times and the worst of times, depending on whose interests you have at heart. The incoming Scottish coach might be secretly the best pleased!

Better Rugby Coaching


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