20 Best/Most Important Rugby Coaches of all time

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LandOTurk
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20 Best/Most Important Rugby Coaches of all time

Post by LandOTurk »

Following on from blindciders 100 most Impt Players, I thought that coaches deserved a thread of their own too. Plenty of spaces here to fit them all in.
Last edited by LandOTurk on Tue Aug 24, 2021 1:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 20 Best/Most Important Rugby Coaches of all time

Post by LandOTurk »

Carwyn James

Known for introducing a fast and broad game that got results. Coached winning teams for Llanelli, the Barbarians and the Lions against New Zealand and South Africa. His oft quoted line was "think, think, think .... it's a thinking man's game".

Never coached Wales as he insisted on being the selector and in the days of committee it was a hurdle.

I know he had an important role to play in Italian and Rovigo rugby after the Scarlets, but maybe I'll leave that to the Italian boredies.

He was also a closet gay, which drove him to commit suicide all alone in a hotel in Amsterdam.
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Re: 20 Best/Most Important Rugby Coaches of all time

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He was a great coach but a bit of a paedo tbf from all accounts.
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Re: 20 Best/Most Important Rugby Coaches of all time

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Danie Craven

Fred 'The Needle' Allen

JJ Stewart
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Re: 20 Best/Most Important Rugby Coaches of all time

Post by camroc1 »

Starts and ends with Carwyn James.
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Re: 20 Best/Most Important Rugby Coaches of all time

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John Mitchell - introduced several players that went on to become AB greats

PdV - t'was a real gift.
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Re: 20 Best/Most Important Rugby Coaches of all time

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Past 27 years Springbok Coaches Success Rate :
1. Kitch Christie 100%. 14 consecutive victories. '94-'96 incl. First WC at admission
2. Jacques Nienaber 83%. 5 wins from 6. 2021 -
3. Nick Mallet 71%. 27 wins from 38. 17 consecutive victories. '97-2000
4. Jake White 67%. 36 wins from 54 incl. 1 WC
5. Rassie Erasmus 65%. 17 wins from 26 incl. 1 WC. 2018-2019
Last edited by ZuLurk on Tue Aug 24, 2021 4:20 pm, edited 8 times in total.
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Re: 20 Best/Most Important Rugby Coaches of all time

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Ian Foster - Three World Cup wins in a row and was hated by 99% of NZrs when he first started.
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Re: 20 Best/Most Important Rugby Coaches of all time

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ZuLurk wrote: Tue Aug 24, 2021 3:54 pm Past 27 years Springbok Coaches Success Rate :
1. Kitch Christie 100%. 14 consecutive victories. '94-'96 incl. First WC at admission
2. Jacques Nienaber 83%. 5 wins from 6. 2021 -
3. Nick Mallet 71%. 27 wins from 38. 17 consecutive victories. '97-2000
4. Jake White 67%. 36 wins from 54 incl. 1 WC
5. Rassie Erasmus 65%. 17 wins from 26 incl. 1 WC. 2018-2019
Carel du Plessis. Mallett took what he built and went on to 17 consecutive wins

Jacques Nienaber is a puppet, his figures should be added to Rassie's
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Re: 20 Best/Most Important Rugby Coaches of all time

Post by CrazyIslander »

I'd say Laurie Mains. Brought running rugby to NZ. I remember the second half if the '94 Bledisloe the ABs just ran the ball. Amazing to watch. They continued that in RWC'95 till the present.
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Re: 20 Best/Most Important Rugby Coaches of all time

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CrazyIslander wrote: Tue Aug 24, 2021 4:49 pm I'd say Laurie Mains. Brought running rugby to NZ. I remember the second half if the '94 Bledisloe the ABs just ran the ball. Amazing to watch. They continued that in RWC'95 till the present.
He went to SA after '95 coached Lions then cats
"The current Springboks' director of rugby had been appointed as Mains' captain for the 2001 season, but his own meticulousness was a source of tension.
Erasmus alleged at the time that Mains didn't always prepare thoroughly and had a poor relationship with his black players, who sided with Erasmus."
source: news24 legacy-of-laurie-mains-in-sa
Last edited by ZuLurk on Wed Aug 25, 2021 1:22 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: 20 Best/Most Important Rugby Coaches of all time

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Clive Woodward. Yes we laugh at him now, but in his day he was perhaps the most influential coach of all in pushing the professional game forward. He massively developed the culture of ensuring you are ahead of the game and bring wider or outside thinking to enhance players abilities. He was genuinely ahead of the curve in the early 2000s.

I think Bob Dwyer and Rod Macqueen would be in this category for similar reasons as well. The Oz teams of the 90s were really innovative then.

He wasn't a head coach at test level, but surely Shaun Edwards influence on the blitz defence and it's wider spread and use in the past decade or two makes him hugely influential and important in that regard.
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Re: 20 Best/Most Important Rugby Coaches of all time

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camroc1 wrote: Tue Aug 24, 2021 2:21 pm Starts and ends with Carwyn James.
Indeed. Shocking politics meant he was never in charge for Wales.
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Re: 20 Best/Most Important Rugby Coaches of all time

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Ok being serious. Wayne Smith.. Not a great head coach.. but surely vital in the development of the great All Blacks side of 2010 onwards... restoring self respect... and getting over the line in world cups. Foster would do well to add him to the team.
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Re: 20 Best/Most Important Rugby Coaches of all time

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eldanielfire wrote: Tue Aug 24, 2021 5:20 pm Clive Woodward. Yes we laugh at him now, but in his day he was perhaps the most influential coach of all in pushing the professional game forward. He massively developed the culture of ensuring you are ahead of the game and bring wider or outside thinking to enhance players abilities. He was genuinely ahead of the curve in the early 2000s.

I think Bob Dwyer and Rod Macqueen would be in this category for similar reasons as well. The Oz teams of the 90s were really innovative then.

He wasn't a head coach at test level, but surely Shaun Edwards influence on the blitz defence and it's wider spread and use in the past decade or two makes him hugely influential and important in that regard.
Agree with all that. And Clive is still the only coach of a NH side to win the World Cup. I doubt England would have spent so long in the Doldrums had he carried on for another 4 years or more. Whether he could have continued to innovate and stay on or ahead of the curve, we'll never know.
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Re: 20 Best/Most Important Rugby Coaches of all time

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eldanielfire wrote: Tue Aug 24, 2021 5:20 pm Clive Woodward. Yes we laugh at him now, but in his day he was perhaps the most influential coach of all in pushing the professional game forward. He massively developed the culture of ensuring you are ahead of the game and bring wider or outside thinking to enhance players abilities. He was genuinely ahead of the curve in the early 2000s.

I think Bob Dwyer and Rod Macqueen would be in this category for similar reasons as well. The Oz teams of the 90s were really innovative then.

He wasn't a head coach at test level, but surely Shaun Edwards influence on the blitz defence and it's wider spread and use in the past decade or two makes him hugely influential and important in that regard.
Agreed. From "Winning" (I think that was the title?), he also talked about being annoyed with 10 man rugby in his playing days (Tigers and England?) and being influenced by the more open rugby played at Manly. Some people tend to say England were all about Jonny's boot then, but when you watch their highlights from 01-03, it's some of the most enjoyable open rugby you can watch from any era.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2USK9DolxU
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Re: 20 Best/Most Important Rugby Coaches of all time

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Nieghorn wrote: Tue Aug 24, 2021 5:46 pm
eldanielfire wrote: Tue Aug 24, 2021 5:20 pm Clive Woodward. Yes we laugh at him now, but in his day he was perhaps the most influential coach of all in pushing the professional game forward. He massively developed the culture of ensuring you are ahead of the game and bring wider or outside thinking to enhance players abilities. He was genuinely ahead of the curve in the early 2000s.

I think Bob Dwyer and Rod Macqueen would be in this category for similar reasons as well. The Oz teams of the 90s were really innovative then.

He wasn't a head coach at test level, but surely Shaun Edwards influence on the blitz defence and it's wider spread and use in the past decade or two makes him hugely influential and important in that regard.
Agreed. From "Winning" (I think that was the title?), he also talked about being annoyed with 10 man rugby in his playing days (Tigers and England?) and being influenced by the more open rugby played at Manly. Some people tend to say England were all about Jonny's boot then, but when you watch their highlights from 01-03, it's some of the most enjoyable open rugby you can watch from any era.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2USK9DolxU
Agree. I think Wilkinson's reputation is largely from his return form almost 4 years of injuries and no England test playing where he was in a crappo coached England side with barely any backline players of note.

But in his 98-2003 prime days, he was genuinely a great all round fly half, with a devastating pass and a creative brain that pivoted England's attack. It's just his kicking was 2nd to none then as well and miles ahead of anyone in that period. But that was mostly used then when things broke down or the game turned into a grind. England back then were playing any style that worked.
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Re: 20 Best/Most Important Rugby Coaches of all time

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eldanielfire wrote: Tue Aug 24, 2021 5:20 pm Clive Woodward. Yes we laugh at him now, but in his day he was perhaps the most influential coach of all in pushing the professional game forward. He massively developed the culture of ensuring you are ahead of the game and bring wider or outside thinking to enhance players abilities. He was genuinely ahead of the curve in the early 2000s.

I think Bob Dwyer and Rod Macqueen would be in this category for similar reasons as well. The Oz teams of the 90s were really innovative then.

He wasn't a head coach at test level, but surely Shaun Edwards influence on the blitz defence and it's wider spread and use in the past decade or two makes him hugely influential and important in that regard.
Great shout on Edwards , he’s had a massive influence on how the game is played at the highest level
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Re: 20 Best/Most Important Rugby Coaches of all time

Post by Flockwitt »

Who was the coach that made SA scrummaging such a fine art in the first half of the 1900s? Basically changed the way the game was played?
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Re: 20 Best/Most Important Rugby Coaches of all time

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Kiwias wrote: Tue Aug 24, 2021 1:25 pm Danie Craven

Fred 'The Needle' Allen

JJ Stewart
Don't rate JJ as our Uni team was 0-1 with him! Usual coach was away so JJ gave us the halftime talk. Didn't help. There was some good stuff about "the sun gleaming off our sprigs" though.
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Re: 20 Best/Most Important Rugby Coaches of all time

Post by mdaclarke »

Rassie has to be number 1 surely.
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Re: 20 Best/Most Important Rugby Coaches of all time

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mdaclarke wrote: Tue Aug 24, 2021 8:58 pm Rassie has to be number 1 surely.
I know you’re joking, but :lol:

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Re: 20 Best/Most Important Rugby Coaches of all time

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Jensrsa wrote: Tue Aug 24, 2021 4:12 pm
ZuLurk wrote: Tue Aug 24, 2021 3:54 pm Past 27 years Springbok Coaches Success Rate :
1. Kitch Christie 100%. 14 consecutive victories. '94-'96 incl. First WC at admission
2. Jacques Nienaber 83%. 5 wins from 6. 2021 -
3. Nick Mallet 71%. 27 wins from 38. 17 consecutive victories. '97-2000
4. Jake White 67%. 36 wins from 54 incl. 1 WC
5. Rassie Erasmus 65%. 17 wins from 26 incl. 1 WC. 2018-2019
Carel du Plessis. Mallett took what he built and went on to 17 consecutive wins

Jacques Nienaber is a puppet, his figures should be added to Rassie's
Regardless. He's coached so few tests. Inelligible.
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Re: 20 Best/Most Important Rugby Coaches of all time

Post by mdaclarke »

mr bungle wrote: Tue Aug 24, 2021 9:03 pm
mdaclarke wrote: Tue Aug 24, 2021 8:58 pm Rassie has to be number 1 surely.
I know you’re joking, but :lol:

Image
JUSTICE 4 RASSIE!! Wrongly accused.
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Re: 20 Best/Most Important Rugby Coaches of all time

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eldanielfire wrote: Tue Aug 24, 2021 5:20 pm Clive Woodward. Yes we laugh at him now, but in his day he was perhaps the most influential coach of all in pushing the professional game forward. He massively developed the culture of ensuring you are ahead of the game and bring wider or outside thinking to enhance players abilities. He was genuinely ahead of the curve in the early 2000s.

I think Bob Dwyer and Rod Macqueen would be in this category for similar reasons as well. The Oz teams of the 90s were really innovative then.

He wasn't a head coach at test level, but surely Shaun Edwards influence on the blitz defence and it's wider spread and use in the past decade or two makes him hugely influential and important in that regard.
Clive? More of a manager than a coach, he recruited talent to do the job for him while he organised the presentations and consulted his PR man.

Bob Dwyer was an excellent coach, no nonsense about him and you had the feeling his was a formidable intellect. MacQueen brought the defensive patterns from rugby league that informs the patterns we see now... the spread and defend the field sort of thinking that troubled the opposition at the time and grew to be taken up by everybody.

Both are significant figures in Australia's best rugby era so far.
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Re: 20 Best/Most Important Rugby Coaches of all time

Post by eldanielfire »

guy smiley wrote: Tue Aug 24, 2021 10:28 pm
Clive? More of a manager than a coach, he recruited talent to do the job for him while he organised the presentations and consulted his PR man.
By the time of the Lions he may have been that way, but it's rubbish to say that's all he did with England. He certainly did coach and was imnvolved in all aspects of it. He was also a successful coach at 2 clubs before then.
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Re: 20 Best/Most Important Rugby Coaches of all time

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I recall English players saying as much during his tenure up to 2003. Is this not the case?
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mr bungle wrote: Tue Aug 24, 2021 11:04 pm I recall English players saying as much during his tenure up to 2003. Is this not the case?
I'm sure like most head coaches he left a lot of the technical stuff to his team. But what are we saying head coaches do? Head coaches don't hires backs, forwards, attack, defence etc coaches for nothing. But he certainly led the team, was out on the training pitch, was motivating the players, installing the tactics, selections, culture etc. Woodward's first move was to install a more attacking game plan and style in 1997.
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Re: 20 Best/Most Important Rugby Coaches of all time

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eldanielfire wrote: Tue Aug 24, 2021 11:43 pm
mr bungle wrote: Tue Aug 24, 2021 11:04 pm I recall English players saying as much during his tenure up to 2003. Is this not the case?
I'm sure like most head coaches he left a lot of the technical stuff to his team. But what are we saying head coaches do? Head coaches don't hires backs, forwards, attack, defence etc coaches for nothing. But he certainly led the team, was out on the training pitch, was motivating the players, installing the tactics, selections, culture etc. Woodward's first move was to install a more attacking game plan and style in 1997.
There was talk from inside the team that he was sidelined from a coaching perspective by RWC 2003. If that was the case he would be well outside what any of his contemporary coaches were doing. Maybe Clive for best CEO?
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guy smiley wrote: Tue Aug 24, 2021 10:28 pm
I think Bob Dwyer and Rod Macqueen would be in this category for similar reasons a
Bob Dwyer was an excellent coach, no nonsense about him and you had the feeling his was a formidable intellect. MacQueen brought the defensive patterns from rugby league that informs the patterns we see now... the spread and defend the field sort of thinking that troubled the opposition at the time and grew to be taken up by everybody.

Both are significant figures in Australia's best rugby era so far.
Macqueen also introduced the short passing, keep possession, be patient, attack. The Gregan switch pass. The defence was largely John Muggleton's work.

(Grits teeth) Alan Jones was also pretty innovative, he was in a position where he could operate pretty much as a fully professional coach, and he put a lot of time into developing our first ever Grand Slam winning team.
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Re: 20 Best/Most Important Rugby Coaches of all time

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ovalball wrote: Tue Aug 24, 2021 5:36 pm
eldanielfire wrote: Tue Aug 24, 2021 5:20 pm Clive Woodward. Yes we laugh at him now, but in his day he was perhaps the most influential coach of all in pushing the professional game forward. He massively developed the culture of ensuring you are ahead of the game and bring wider or outside thinking to enhance players abilities. He was genuinely ahead of the curve in the early 2000s.

I think Bob Dwyer and Rod Macqueen would be in this category for similar reasons as well. The Oz teams of the 90s were really innovative then.

He wasn't a head coach at test level, but surely Shaun Edwards influence on the blitz defence and it's wider spread and use in the past decade or two makes him hugely influential and important in that regard.
Agree with all that. And Clive is still the only coach of a NH side to win the World Cup. I doubt England would have spent so long in the Doldrums had he carried on for another 4 years or more. Whether he could have continued to innovate and stay on or ahead of the curve, we'll never know.
For England, thats not a bad shout. But this is the man who almost singlehandedly destroyed the Lions concept in 2005, and then proposed that future Lions teams to NZ based themselves in Sydney and flew over for three tests only.
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Re: 20 Best/Most Important Rugby Coaches of all time

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CrazyIslander wrote: Tue Aug 24, 2021 4:49 pm I'd say Laurie Mains. Brought running rugby to NZ. I remember the second half if the '94 Bledisloe the ABs just ran the ball. Amazing to watch. They continued that in RWC'95 till the present.
Fred Allen wants a word with you, laddie
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Kiwias wrote: Wed Aug 25, 2021 12:31 am
CrazyIslander wrote: Tue Aug 24, 2021 4:49 pm I'd say Laurie Mains. Brought running rugby to NZ. I remember the second half if the '94 Bledisloe the ABs just ran the ball. Amazing to watch. They continued that in RWC'95 till the present.
Fred Allen wants a word with you, laddie
:thumbup: :thumbup:
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Re: 20 Best/Most Important Rugby Coaches of all time

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mr bungle wrote: Wed Aug 25, 2021 12:10 am
eldanielfire wrote: Tue Aug 24, 2021 11:43 pm
mr bungle wrote: Tue Aug 24, 2021 11:04 pm I recall English players saying as much during his tenure up to 2003. Is this not the case?
I'm sure like most head coaches he left a lot of the technical stuff to his team. But what are we saying head coaches do? Head coaches don't hires backs, forwards, attack, defence etc coaches for nothing. But he certainly led the team, was out on the training pitch, was motivating the players, installing the tactics, selections, culture etc. Woodward's first move was to install a more attacking game plan and style in 1997.
There was talk from inside the team that he was sidelined from a coaching perspective by RWC 2003. If that was the case he would be well outside what any of his contemporary coaches were doing. Maybe Clive for best CEO?
Not sure that is true. I've only heard that in the RWC final, Clive came to the group huddle and Martin Johnson said "We got it Clive". But part of Woodward's philosophy was to ensure the players make players take charge and training sessions taught them how to. I believe Keith Wood, who didn't rate him, did say he was a superb motivator to players when coaching them at London Irish.

The coach I did hear that did get side-lined by players was Brian Ashton in 2007. His methods famously made the players ignore all the coaches and do it themselves with Dallaglio, Corry etc basically running things in the RWC in 2007.

On your other point, it's interesting that none of Woodward's coaches had much in the way of success after him. Robinson and Ashton both were regarded as poor England coaches.
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Post by UncleFB »

Kiwias wrote: Wed Aug 25, 2021 12:31 am
CrazyIslander wrote: Tue Aug 24, 2021 4:49 pm I'd say Laurie Mains. Brought running rugby to NZ. I remember the second half if the '94 Bledisloe the ABs just ran the ball. Amazing to watch. They continued that in RWC'95 till the present.
Fred Allen wants a word with you, laddie
Hell, you don't even need to go back that far (the 87 RWC were proponents of running rugby) and there's been lots of running rugby AB teams all the way back to the 1893 (1905, Invincibles etc).
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Re: 20 Best/Most Important Rugby Coaches of all time

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What Crazy Islander doesn’t know about rugby is extremely important to know.
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Re: 20 Best/Most Important Rugby Coaches of all time

Post by ZuLurk »

Flockwitt wrote: Tue Aug 24, 2021 8:27 pm Who was the coach that made SA scrummaging such a fine art in the first half of the 1900s? Basically changed the way the game was played?
Oubaas Mark Markotter
He popularized the 3-4-1 scrumming formation
link:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/August_ ... %C3%B6tter
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ZuLurk wrote: Wed Aug 25, 2021 1:07 am
Flockwitt wrote: Tue Aug 24, 2021 8:27 pm Who was the coach that made SA scrummaging such a fine art in the first half of the 1900s? Basically changed the way the game was played?
Oubaas Mark Markotter
He popularized the 3-4-1 scrumming formation
link:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/August_ ... %C3%B6tter
Ah bingo. Thank you. The guy essentially forged the best teams on the planet. :thumbup:
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Re: 20 Best/Most Important Rugby Coaches of all time

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mr bungle wrote: Wed Aug 25, 2021 12:52 am What Crazy Islander doesn’t know about rugby is extremely important to know.
:lol:
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Re: 20 Best/Most Important Rugby Coaches of all time

Post by Pakia Pakia »

Graham Henry must be there considering his influence over both New Zealand and NH rugby.
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