The First Real Test Series

This has been the first real “Test Series” in a long time. A few years ago they were the norm which made it easy to draw conclusions on who was best.

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Selection and Success are Synonymous


Becoming a successful coach is 80% selection. Eddie Jones emphasised this last week when he presented his module on selection at IRANZ Live. It’s not simply choosing the best players – it’s profiling these players, identifying the game plan and selecting the combinations capable of implementation.

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The Mitre 10 Cup renaissance

Beauden Barrett

Hooray and so say all of us! Super Rugby Aotearoa was a revelation.  The weekend of rugby was full of action, intent and excitement; a  New Zealand showcase, with Kiwi players, coaches and referees; and commercially viable in the global market place.

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The Keys to Success

Attitude and a solid foundation are the keys to success.

The two key requirements for an ambitious player to be successful are a good attitude and a solid foundation. Kurt Ekland is a great example of this.

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A Parochial and Global Perspective

IRANZ Position-Specific No. 8 Specialist Murray Mexted

It is difficult to be a globally-minded, parochial New Zealander.

Aotearoa Super Rugby is the best rugby competition in the world.  For New Zealand to remain a world rugby force we must retain this domestic competition. It’s the best thing for the growth of rugby in New Zealand and the global game. 

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Andy Haden, a man amongst men!

Andy Haden, a man amongst men!

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Devolution – Visionary or Naïve?

In 2002 New Zealand Rugby instigated “Devolution;” a concept designed to empower New Zealand’s Provincial Unions (PUs) to develop their own talent. They scrapped their centralised in-house programme run out of the world’s-best, purpose-built rugby academy The Institute of Rugby (IOR) in Palmerston North.

It was a move away from central development. The question at the time – was this visionary or naïve? 

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IRANZ Insight: It’s Back to the Future for NZ Rugby

As the smokescreen fades and the light at the end of the tunnel gets brighter we get to ponder what the new order of rugby in New Zealand will look like. One thing is certain we will be forced to internalise competition as the return of global rugby will be in the more distant future.

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IRANZ Insight: Super Rugby or Mitre 10 Cup? NZ rugby can no longer support both.

As times change, rugby must evolve and the reality is what was once our strength is no longer sustainable. There are too many layers to provide the quality coaching and competition we have had in the past.

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IRANZ Insight: Foster vs Robertson

The two contenders for the top job, Fossie and Razor both visited IRANZ frequently and spent many hours over many years honing their art. Fossie has more time in the saddle and has been at the leading edge for many years. Razor is a young fresh face with success beyond his years and appeal as an agent of change. Both would do a good job and they would naturally have my allegiance.

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Rennie a sensational appointment for Wallabies

21-Nov-2019 02:39:54 PM

By Greg Stutchbury

WELLINGTON, Nov 21 (Reuters) – Rugby Australia have made a “sensational appointment” in choosing Dave Rennie to take over as coach of the Wallabies and he will improve the team in short order, former All Blacks loose forward Murray Mexted has said.

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IRANZ Insight – ABs set the pace but Bok take the Silverware

Well, that’s a wrap. The ninth edition of RWC has come to an end and it’s fair to say that throughout RWC Japan, the All Blacks remained the most popular team.  They continued to set the standard and push the parameters of attack. They developed the dual playmaker role to counter rush defence – a meritorious strategy in the spirit of progressive rugby. 

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A Masterclass of Coaching

Eddie Jones and Rassie Erasmus have prevailed.

At RWC 2019 we are witnessing a “Masterclass” of coaching. An old expression is applicable here: a good team will beat a team of good players.

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Are you on the Right Road?

Japans performance at the RWC is no fluke.

They built their domestic competition on the back of foreign coaching expertise, mostly from New Zealand.  They embraced the opportunity to develop their most promising young players by sending them to foreign fields – often New Zealand domestic club competitions. Japanese companies with representative rugby teams form sponsorship arrangements with New Zealand provinces, sub-contracting their coaching services and investing in their players to play and experience rugby club life in New Zealand.

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Good Coaches Develop Good Teams

Good coaches develop good teams who create great players.

The RWC is creating unprecedented interest in rugby in Japan and all of Asia.

There has been a misconception that Asian rugby teams can’t compete with Tier 1 countries, because their players are physically too small. In the last 3 weeks Japan have proven this wrong. They have played 4, won 4 and topped their pool. As Jamie Joseph stated, “this is no fluke.”

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RWC Japan – A World Class Event

World Rugby have struck gold by staging the 2019 RWC in the world’s most populated region, where rugby is growing rapidly. We’re only two weeks in and already it’s a world-class event.

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IRANZ Insight: Hansen pulls it off

Isn’t it great that we have an All Black coach with the balls to pick on current form irrespective of experience – even if it does mean dropping our best two outside backs?  He pulled it off – on the biggest stage against the best opponent.

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IRANZ Insight: No perceived weaknesses.

No perceived weaknesses. Yes we have the cattle.

Now the team is complete. Providing the referees don’t destroy the flow of the game, any other team will need to play exceptionally well to beat the All Blacks.

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Reid holds the Key

For NZ to win a third consecutive RWC Kieren Reid will need to play at his very best.  If he does he will retire as one of the great No. 8s of All Black rugby.

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Good enough to win

My first impression is this team is strong enough across the board to win RWC Japan. 

I get the sense this highly successful and acclaimed coach and management group have thought deeply about the make-up of this team and the combinations. The physical capabilities are there. The experience and leadership are there.  The subjective category of mental strength gets a pass from me. I think this squad is risk free on and off the field.

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