Coaching, not lack of depth, the issue for Australian rugby
Jake White. Source: Alan Porritt / AAP
Australian rugby is constantly criticised for lacking the player depth of the other major rugby nations. However, I would bet you anything that any adventurous coach just does not agree with that statement.
Talent outs itself in times of adversity.
The Brumbies are a classic case in point.
In effect, they rubbed out almost the whole squad in one stroke of the pen. Then, along comes Jake White who is obviously a bloke who can think outside the square. He is not tainted by parochialism (at least not the Australian version, which I define as Sydney-centric) and picks a team of people that were all on the fringe.
History has repeated itself as far as the Brumbies are concerned.
Toomua goes down, Lealiifano steps up – Christian goes down, Zac steps up.
Who is Jesse Mogg? Where was he a year ago?
He must have been in that shallow pit, where there is no depth (maybe he was hiding in a corner!).
The point, very simply made is that when people like Phil Mooney, Jake White, Rod MacQueen and other visionaries chance their arms, you suddenly find depth that you did not realise that you had.
It’s right under the noses of us all, but we assume that, for one reason or another that there is nobody out there. We argue that we need a second tier, or that there is too many going overseas, or there are not enough pathways.
If you build it, they will come. Names have sprung up over the last few years that would not have had the opportunity had it not been for the addition of the franchises.
The Brumbies made the Super 12 finals in the second year of the competition, and came a close second to the hugely powerful Auckland outfit of that era – that fact alone should have been a wake-up call.
Chase the young guys, give them opportunities and they will rise to the occasion.
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