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The Roar

Nicholas Bishop

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Joined January 2016

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Nick Bishop has worked as a rugby analyst and advisor to Graham Henry (1999-2003), Mike Ruddock (2004-2005) and most recently 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. Three more rugby books have followed, all of which of have either been nominated for or won national sports book awards. Nick’s latest is a biography of Phil Larder, the first top Rugby League coach to successfully transfer over to Union, entitled “The Iron Curtain”. 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 and Pro 14 playoff matches. Leinster achieved the double of European Champions Cup and Pro 14 league winners in 2018.

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Are you quoting Spiro’s article because you agree with his viewpoint Fin? 😀

Ofc Folau has the right to express his opinion – although I very much doubt (in contrast to Spiro) that it represents the majority view among other Christians…

But employers and sponsors have very specific requirements of the organisations and people in whom they invest, and for better or worse they cannot be avoided. Those requirements are phrased as contractual obligations – which means that players and administrators either have to agree with the investor via the contract, or forego the money and prefer the player’s right to speak freely on social media.

Which would you prefer if you were in RA’s shoes??

Can rugby really embrace diversity?

That’s (more) very helpful background to the debate Fin – appreciated.

I understand that Quantas also has an important partnership with Emirates airlines, so that must be a complicating factor as well….

It seems to me that Folau is determined to make his point and that probably, he won’t back down until he has achieved a kind of social media martyrdom peculiar to the age we live in… At least, I’d be very surprised to see him in green-and-gold ever again.

Can rugby really embrace diversity?

I hope so KP, I hope so. But it still seems astonishing that such a talented man could have been rejected by his own country (apparently the sticking point with the WRU was that Carwyn actually wanted to select his own players – shock, horror!)

Can rugby really embrace diversity?

Yes I think a WB WC comeback is eminently possible Fin!

But if the sport is to flourish in Australia and persuade supporters to move across from say League, it needs consistent international success rather than once in a four year cycle….

Can rugby really embrace diversity?

Okay, I see what you’re getting at Cookie…

What I would add is that the KPI’s for the positions you mention have changed over the last few years, and radically so…

So for example, given that there are now 10-12 scrums in a game rather than 20-30, and that reffing protocol is currently to get the ball in play more instead of awarding pens at scrum, a prop who can do scrum well but little else, has a lower value than one who can scrum adequately, but carry and defend better.

With the hooker/thrower, you need to be able to quantify which lineout losses are the result of bad throw, or malfunctions in lifting/timing/calling in the lineout itself? In my experience, it’s only the hooker’s fault @20-25% of the time!

Ditto with the number 7 position – the basic KPI’s are not the same as they were even before the last WC… They are moving steadily in the direction of what a Michael Hooper, or an Ardie Savea can offer.

So my answer is that you need to know what ‘the lines’ are in order read between them! 🙂

Can rugby really embrace diversity?

Nice try Conor – I’m sorry that the article kinda got washed away by the flood-tide of Folau hysteria!

Eddie has always been in my experience a short-side trickster, and he’s always looked to overload those three defenders closest to the ruck off 9. The idea of using power runners as passers on short-side seems to be have been copied from the ABs use of Dane Coles at 1st receiver in the same role.

I’m not convinced what England is doing is revolutionary, and it wasn’t effective against Wales – but it certainly suits Eddie’s style. How much of that do you feel can be attributed to Scott Wisemantel? 🙂

England's World Cup attack: All Black and Wallaby influences

Cheers Piru!

Can rugby really embrace diversity?

Good one Hazza 😀

Can rugby really embrace diversity?

The strongest ties are made of such differences Lara – well said…

Can rugby really embrace diversity?

My son made junior rep level as a flanker and later as a prop yet ONLY his club coach ever improved his skills. Rep level was game plans and repetition. Not once did they take him aside and say he should look at this or that, or this is a better way of doing something or given a specific drill to improve something.

In a nutshell Peter. I wrote some articles for a coaching publication in the U.K, but ultimately the coaches who read it apparently only wanted ‘drills’, not thinking about the game.

Can rugby really embrace diversity?

Couldn’t agree with you more H. Your experience with Digger and his family reminds me of the Lions supporters who were ‘adopted’ by NZ families so that they could stay somewhere during the 2017 tour…. That for me is the true spirit of rugby brotherhood, because it shares so much territory with the brotherhood of Man on a larger scale.

Perhaps the biggest single problem with Folau’s statement is that it is open to manipulation by political extremists who have no feeling for that brotherhood whatsoever.

Can rugby really embrace diversity?

I don’t think Beale’s poor form has been missed at all Fox – certainly not among the Roar faithful on these forums it’s been a hot topic! And previously I’ve commented about the change in attitudes re: the 12 position in particular – previous articles have focused on it in relation to Nonu, Kerevi and Karmichael Hunt 🙂

Can rugby really embrace diversity?

Yes – or put it another way Don, can they coach a team with a non-Waratah core at this late stage in proceedings? 🙂

Can rugby really embrace diversity?

Yes and I do feel that the islanders are doing and saying these things ‘innocently’ – i.e. because they genuinely believe them – unlike the right-wing extremists who manipulate their statements for their own ends.

Nonetheless, the very fact that the statements can be manipulated, and translated into a completely different agenda is bad enough!

Can rugby really embrace diversity?

Just staying in one position would be of great benefit to RH at this stage of his career. He has to be able to stick his hand up and say, “This is where I play and I back myself to be better than anyone else in the country at it”. Can’t spend his whole career as a jack of all trades!

Can rugby really embrace diversity?

Wouldn’t have Maddocks on the wing G – he will eventually get a shot at one of the positions for which his skills are suited – 10 or 15…

The other two have a good shot however.

Can rugby really embrace diversity?

I guess I don’t like to criticize coaches too much because I work with them Rhys. It’s a natural response rather than a feeling of constraint!

Can rugby really embrace diversity?

😀

Can rugby really embrace diversity?

Excellent historical summary – thanks Fin…

Ofc Christianity came from nations in Western Europe who colonized the islands preached the religion via their missionaries. I know from the Tongan community here how much that religion underpins their lives. But it would be interesting to know how much support Folau has among some of the other players of island origin that you mention? Any idea?

Can rugby really embrace diversity?

Thanks Hazza – funnily enough I was thinking of your superb anecdotal piece about homosexuality in rugby when I wrote it 🙂

Can rugby really embrace diversity?

Cheers Chook – and agree with that last sentiment entirely!

Can rugby really embrace diversity?

You never want to give your opponent obvious targets to attack, that’s for sure Mitch!

Can rugby really embrace diversity?

Doesn’t make sense for ‘the force’ to be at times masculine, at others feminine Sheek? Isn’t that they way we experience it in Life? 🙂

Can rugby really embrace diversity?

I know we used to target him with England!

Can rugby really embrace diversity?

I would do away with the dedicated open-side wing theory before anything else Cole…

Can rugby really embrace diversity?