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More great analysis of England v Australia by David Clarke

Our friends at Green and Gold Rugby do not hold back from making “jokes” at the expense of players and countries. BUT, their analysis is forthright and interesting. We can all learn from the way they pick out the strengths and weaknesses of players, so we can pass on these thoughts to our own.

I know this analysis is “after” the event for us, but it makes interesting viewing in light of the fact that England won the subsequent game 20-21. The GGR guys point out the contribution of Burgess at 9 in the first game where Australia won. Interestingly, Will Genia played in the second!

Better Rugby Coaching

Rugby coaching caption competition by David Clarke
December 11, 2008, 2:37 pm
Filed under: Dan Cottrell | Tags: , , , ,

Add a caption to this picture of Martin Johnson and Graham Henry in their recent meeting when the All Blacks beat England in November.

Johnson and Henry

England’s lineout is saved by David Clarke

In a remarkable piece of good luck (and you can decide for yourself who was the lucky one) I bumped into Phil Vickery and Steve Borthwick yesterday.

I was on my way back from a meeting in Bramley with the Rugby Coach publishers and an old friend of mine asked me to meet up with him. He is a football fan (well he supports Chelsea anyway) and he said he would see me at Pennyhill Park Hotel.

On my way I remembered that the England rugby team were staying there but thought little more of it.

I arrived, walked into the hotel bar, and passed a serious looking Martin Johnson and his coaching team of Graham Rowntree and John Wells. Now in my bag I had my new DVD, “Everything You Need to Know For Coaching Rugby“. I decided this was not the moment to hand a free copy over to Johnson.

I caught up with my mate and we laughed at the coincidence. Then in walks Phil Vickery. Phil has just endorsed our Secrets of the Front Row report, plus given us some signed shirts from his Raging Bull business. I went over to him to say thank you. And also to give our new How to Win the Lineout book which I had as a spare copy in my bag. And in walks Steve Borthwick. Both are charming men and Borthwick jokes about the need for the lineout book, though it is safe to say that it is one area England can feel quite pleased with.

So after a brief light-hearted exchange, I return to my friend, leaving the book with the England forwards. So I expect the England lineout to be in good hands tomorrow!

The coincidences didn’t stop there, because when I arrived home, I had an email from Doug McClymont, who worked with Mike Cron, the All Blacks scrum guru. He has just sent me the methods that make the New Zealand scrum one of, if not the best set piece in the world. More on that in the next Rugby Coach Newsletter…

The Seven Most Well Meant But Least Helpful Words in Rugby Coaching by David Clarke


I have just heard three of the most annoying words in rugby.


Last night I went to the Liberty Stadium in Swansea to watch the Junior World Cup finals. Wales were playing against South Africa for third place and the big prize being contested by New Zealand and England. In a sort of symmetry with the senior game, the power of Springboks and their super offload skills won the their match. The sparks of brilliance from the number one seeds the All Blacks were too good for England.


In the true spirit of rugby, fans from all nations sat side by side, sharing the atmosphere and rivalry in good humour.


Behind me, a South African supporter gave a running commentary to his friend. A fervent supporter but no reader of the game, he said at least three of the seven most well meant but least helpful words in rugby coaching.

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Rich Pickings from the Feast by David Clarke


A bumper rugby weekend on the international front, with matches in every corner of the world. Full tests in the Southern Hemisphere, an A team tournament, Under 20s World Cup, IRB Nations Cup and the Pacific Nations Cup. Chuck in some women’s sevens and you could easily have sat in front of the television all weekend and not ventured outside.


ELVs or not, there was plenty of scintillating rugby on show, and no sign that international games are turgid, or indeed one-sided affairs.


But we don’t just watch the games for “our team”. We want to take something away with us, a little titbit to take onto the training ground for next week.

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