The importance of skills in the modern game by Eddie Jones
In his recent appearance at Oxford, Jones was asked whether rugby had become too size and power-obsessed, at the expense of skill. His answer could be used in any sporting context, and is something that it is worth repeating: “The game of rugby is a balance between skill and physicality. I think in the Northern Hemisphere they’ve allowed physicality to become too important.”
Jones tells of a brilliant young player who is told by his club that he needs to gain weight, rather than being told to get more skilful. In Eddie’s words, “This is just ludicrous. A club should say GET MORE SKILFULL because the easy part is the physical part, the hard part is “Skill”. The skills are so hard to improve: your catch and pass skills… to improve your decision-making is hard…and you‘ve got to spend more time on those areas…the gym part is the easiest part. It is easier to get fitter and stronger”
New Zealand: They have got a beautiful balance between athleticism and skills and that’s why they are the best team in the world.
At Play Rugby, we are trying to instil this into players and create athletes that are much more diligent in the skills training.