As a rugby enthusiast, during my experiences in Anglo-Saxon countries, I realized that the UK LIONS are a very important team for all interested players. It is an honour and pride for them to meet every 4 years to go and face the nations of the southern hemisphere.
BRITISH AND IRISH LIONS
This team of English, Welsh, Scottish and Irish players was created in 1888 with a first tour of Australia and New Zealand.
The prestige came from the 70s and 80s as the British countries did only a few tours in the southern hemisphere. Only the “Lions” went abroad and this was the only opportunity for players to oppose the southern nations.
Still today, events are global. The TOUR generates the journey of thousands of supporters. Opposing players eagerly await this “opposition”.
The trial from 2021, Cheslin Kolbe (South African winger, world champion) chose to stay in South Africa and with the Springboks rather than pretending to the Blitzboks (South African team at 7) who will leave for the Olympic Games from Tokyo.
As highlighted by the 2017 tour, counting the best 2 teams in the world at the moment. Suspense, play, commitment, all the ingredients to be the most awaited event of the year in the world of Rugby.
COULD THE “LATIN LIONS” EXIST?
Looking at the functioning and organization of the team known as LION, I wondered why we Latins don’t have our own team.
FROM MY POINT OF VIEW
we could bring together the best Argentinian, French and Italian players in the same team for a tour to face the SOUTH NATIONS of the world. Argentina is truly isolated at the moment because it no longer has a program from Covid19 to be able to benchmark internationally. The “PUMAS” are a stronghold of world rugby. A mix of blue waves on the jersey and “Grit” and talent could surge in the world rugby scene.
This would allow players to experience a tour of the highest level in one of the countries of the southern hemisphere. This type of event would also help bring additional money to the federations concerned.
We are aware of the financial difficulties of the various rugby authorities and this is to optimize the additional TV rights and to bring more people to the stadiums.
Interested players would gather there because the exchange of EXPERIENCES is a wonderful thing in order to continue to PROGRESS. Just like the opposition that would be of top-quality.
Calendar reform is a topical debate.
Adding to all existing problems a new selection with additional dates in an OVERBOOKING calendar may not be the best solution.
We don’t know if the players would be present to train this selection. We will find sponsors attracted to the idea and able to bear the costs of this organization. It’s to be researched further, but in my opinion nothing is impossible.
WHAT FORM WOULD IT TAKE?
It would be interesting to create this team in the form of a tour, inspired by the “LIONS”, with a COACH that is currently coaching or has coached one of these countries, chosen on the basis of the results with its national team.
A group of 35 players will be called up.
The tour would last just over a month.
THE FORMAT – THE ORGANIZATION?
There would be 5 meetings scheduled.
With matches in weeks against the host country’s Super-Rugby provinces and 3 test matches against national selection.
Weekly matches prepare for the tests of the matches.
It would be interesting to end up with an opposition in a one-off match against the famous “BRITISH AND IRISH LIONS”
CONCLUDING: My idea is certainly utopian, but it is interesting to question the future of our sport and since it is current, why not innovate the world of rugby?!
ENJOY RUGBY AND SHARE YOUR OPINION WITH ME!
Collaboration of the text by Michela Macalli, Doctor of Sports Sciences and Sports Manager.
In the last 15 days rugby has been pleasantly the centre of attention in NEW ZEALAND. The New Zealand league has become the most envied playing field in the world of rugby, thanks also to the newfound presence of the PUBLIC in the stands.
The reality due to COVID19
The world of sport was on stand-by and COVID19 also passed into the world of the oval ball breaking the routine of the scheduled championships and tournaments.
New Zealand’s national sport had to limit itself as in the entire terrestrial hemisphere, and in that specific case follow the government protocol of 7 weeks of confinement, with the same constraints as the French citizens.
After this catastrophe that caused the “long white cloud” country, just as for everyone, inconvenience and unfortunately for some Pain in the New Zealand Rugby Federation, had to find alternative solutions to the annual SUPER RUGBY championship.
The solution after the interruption for the pandemic had to be timely as this Southern Hemisphere championship brings together franchises from multiple continents including Australia, Japan, South Africa, New Zealand and Argentina.
Rugby in this part of the world is CULTURE, it is the common thread that connects each inhabitant with the next. It has a symbol that characterizes it, the famous BLACK SHIRT with a SILVER FERN.
In this context, the federal leaders of the country and the players had to adapt, as in the whole sports world.
At this point, New Zealand players have issued solutions in collaboration with the officials of the federation.
Faced with the fait accompli of the Premier and the agreement, it was decided to do the internal tournament between the various nations.
As far as NZ is concerned, this tournament is called AOTEAROA (New Zealand in the Maori language) and includes 5 New Zealand provinces.
THE RETURN TO REALITY ON THE POST-COVID 19 FIELD
The first 2 games of the first game day, June 13, 2020, in addition to the excitement, from the screen I saw how the players transmitted an INNATE, DOUBLED desire to have fun and give pleasure to the public that was numerously present for them.
Through this exciting event, the TECHNICAL AUTOMATION of rugby players re-emerged. There was no observation round, from the first minute the athletes were in possession of their means and it seemed that the game had not been affected by the previous atypical weeks.
The contacts were tough, the technical quality was high and the intensity of the match was at a discreet level.
To give my viewpoint and my technical comment with more precision we have to wait for more matches played.
The most surprising thing is that the feeling they transmitted was the image of the epidemic in the past, behind them. Rugby overcame this terrible and unexpected moment, reacting with confidence and positive energy for the whole NZ country.
It is a BREATH OF FRESH AIR for EVERYONE and also for us to see this sport every week.
ENJOY RUGBY, AND SHARE YOUR OPINION WITH ME!
With the sharing of texts by Michela Macalli, Doctor of Sport Sciences and Sports Manager.
Me and Mirco Bergamasco, 2011. Ex rugby player of Federazione Italiana Rugby F.I.R. and Coach of Soyaux Angouleme XV PRO D2.
Recently I read an article in an important English newspaper on the role of the Italian national team during the 6 Nations tournament. This newspaper wants to remove Italy from this international event.
I remember that Italy has a commitment with 6 Nations rugby until 2024.
I believe I am in a position to raise this question and I can also take the liberty of answering it because I have strong ties with Italy!
I would like to share my thoughts because I have lived between Italy and France for 20 years; during these years I have trained all the components of Italian rugby, both within the Italian Rugby Federation F.I.R. and in diverse clubs in the first 12 years as well as Italy U 18 and U 19.
This rich Italian experience concluded by integrating the technical staff of the Italian national team with the 6 NATIONS and the World Cup
Italy integrated into the tournament in 2000, so this became the 6 Nations.
Judging purely from the sporting results, the ‘AZZURRI’ won only 12 games out of 103; from this point of view the English newspaper can pose the question to its readers.
However, Italy managed to beat all the teams of the tournament (France, Scotland, Wales, Ireland) at least once with the exception of England.
The British invented this game with their culture, the weight of history makes them one step ahead of the developing nations.
The latter are in fact the only team in the Northern Hemisphere to win the world title.
Italy may not have always achieved constant and expected results, but it has always achieved staggering achievements.“Réussi des exploits retentissants”(successful resounding exploits).
To recall its record of victories twice during tournament participation: 2 out of 5 games played, of which in 2007 (Wales and Scotland) and 2013 (France and Ireland).
In the absence of more regular results from the team, however, it introduced talented players who distinguished themselves in our national (France and England) and international leagues, becoming idols for young aspiring Italian rugby players in a grass field.
Some of the Italian players have become references for their role world-wide.
To name just a few: Sergio Parisse and Martin Castrogiovanni.
The national team is the showcase of its federation.
In Italy it is very difficult for this collective sport to be compared to football, considered here as a national religion and sport.
Unlike France, rugby in Italy is a contractual amateur sport.
The entry of Italy into the 6 nations has attracted a new audience of enthusiasts, who have recognised themselves as actors through a commitment, self-sacrifice and the representation of their nation with dignity.
On these foundations the AZZURRA team managed to win its bet to go from a “modest” stadium (for a 6 Nations) to Flaminio with 25OOO seats, capable however of creating an electric atmosphere between supporters and players on the pitch, to the Olympic Stadium in Rome (the temple of football for SS Lazio and AS Roma) with 73,000 seats but where the contribution of the public is less felt because it is more distant.
The crowd of spectators is much greater but this last stadium does not fill, thus not having the same sharing with the public.
Italy is trying to keep up with the other nations by introducing 2 franchises (2 Club Benetton Treviso and Zebre) Guinness PRO 14.
This allows Italian players to confront and measure themselves against the best Celtic provinces.
Physically the two Italian clubs are competitive because they have a great work culture. In my opinion, however, on a technical-tactical and strategic level, the comparison is more difficult because there are still old schemes related to Italian sports culture such as “the chain”, where they close in defense waiting for the action of the opponents and their error.
At a high level and to win, you have to be bold, hold the ball, impose your game through changes in rhythm and take initiative. All this within one’s own gameplay.
The hardest part is changing your mindset to gain trust.
The F.I.R. federation must support this mentality, strategy, starting from the base of its federal pyramid (junior players) up to international sports issues (6 Nations).
The Italian Juniors are an example of the above. The U 20 Boys are IN FACT progressing with this new approach by winning an average of 2 games per tournament, and are easily among the elite of world rugby every sports season. I would also like to highlight the amazing results of the FEMALE ITALIAN RUGBY during the 6 Nations Tournament to date.
It is time for the fruits of labour to be harvested for Italy.
In life you never have the same opportunities twice:
being in the 6 Nations tournament is part of the great nations of world rugby.
Léa Murie, Rugby Player of of Stade Toulousain and Equipe de France XV Women.
I have noticed that the coach often has biases when it is necessary to supervise and/or address a female rugby audience or I suppose a group of girls that do team sports.
Bias first of all because “male pride” unfortunately is not culturally accustomed in general to managing an all-female team. It may happen sometimes to still hear colleagues today who see it as a blow to their usual widespread image or perhaps because this situation was not foreseen in the career plan.
It is GRATIFYING to train Girls.
I would like to deal with this very important topic of “respect for women in sport” with the professional footballer agent Michela Macalli, because she lives this situation the other way around: a woman in a world seen most of all for men.
Michela explains and we immediately agree: “SPORT IS FOR EVERYONE!”
As a parent I see it as an excellent social alternative for our children. Choosing INSTRUCTORS trained also psychologically by the youth sectors is important because they represent a figure of EDUCATORS as well. Giving girls and boys the opportunity to express their abilities and their passion in a good group of peers, with rules and a smile is fundamental for growth.
“In the 1st teams, where sport in some cases becomes a job for the lucky ones, it is essential to have this culture of SPORT FOR EVERYONE. So we find RESPECT and FAIRPLAY that are the basis of sports ethics. We girls have more tenacity, and I have seen it in friends who play football here in Italy. This often stronger character must be well managed by the TEAM coach, but it sure is a great adventure for both.”
Sometimes we coaches from the male sector are afraid to address an unknown audience, this can create false feelings such as the insecurity of not measuring up, and thus take the wrong approach.
I ask you at this point:
can a man coach a women’s rugby team at the highest level?
In my opinion, Coach Doussy’s opinion, certainly yes, but he must have specific characteristics, that is, be interested in the national girls’ championship, have a conception of high international female level and the conception that SPORT IS FOR EVERYONE.
What are the differences between women and men athletes in rugby communication?
The equality between the two worlds certainly remains the same: The keyword BUILD CONFIDENCE.
TRUST = BUILD TOGETHER (coach / player or players) a project to reach a common goal.
Differently now we touch on some aspects of group management for trainers.
To create first of all the concept of group in the female sector, the coach must establish the rule where all athletes must start on equal footing, so as not to create tensions of jealousy among girls. More often situations of small groups are created between girls more than in a male locker room, where jealousy can be more emphasized than with a group of boys. As a coach I must have the sensitivity and ability to read what happens not only during the technical part, thus creating cohesion activities. Listening to each one is fundamental.
What I have personally noticed in some training sessions of the French women’s national team (2019) is that through communication and verbal exchange, the coach must make everyone feel important. They all need to be reassured about their potential because their level of anxiety about a mistake is higher than in the players.The creation of a GROUP will be the first reference to determine whether the season will be successful or not.At the same time I found in their peers that they are very focused on the action and the competition. However, they need to always find a winner and a loser among them, even in small games during *training (… anche nei piccoli giochi durante *l’allattamento). A desire for healthy competition is a predominant feature in a male category.
Now let’s talk about Discipline and AUTONOMY.In general, girl athletes of a good level are much more focused on their individual program. They respect the content to the letter, are autonomous and scrupulous.These athletes also often need music to increase their energy and intensity in the training session and thus stimulate the environment with disarming enthusiasm.The boys are more in the group effect, sometimes their mood is altered because they are a bit more diesel. I happen to see that to enter the session they have to be accompanied, stimulated, challenged.The final result I found is the same, but the process I used in the two GROUPS is very different.
Regarding the BEHAVIOUR during the training session, I notice that the girls develop the process/pattern mentally before committing themselves and once they understand the purpose, they express their qualities 100%The team leader is also chosen and has to be instructed on the attitudes expected for each training session.As for the good level male athletes in different workshops, their approach will be different from their peers: first they perform, try the exercise, only afterwards eventually elaborating difficulties and improvements, which is the opposite of the girls.
When talking about COLLECTIVE TRAINING in a group of athletes, the coach must propose situations in which they take responsibility, i.e. audacity and to take initiatives tolerating mistakes. They need to feel that they are the “leading actresses” of the project!Their male peers are more interested in acting out the game plan than reassuring themselves like the girls, because individual trust is already in them.This means that the boys already have an understanding and appreciation of their abilities that allows them to know the tasks to be performed during a training or a game.Women have to go beyond their limits in terms of concentration and self-confidence to find new emotions and feel part of the group.It is nice for a coach to create this inner strength in their athlete and also to see them improve technically as a result. I have felt very gratified!
On the subject of the “MALE COACH” on the pitch, I will give one last but fundamental advice about interacting with a group of girls: the TONE OF VOICE AND LANGUAGE.
The coach must be decisive and use a posed speaking voice because a girl is much more sensitive and influenced by remarks than a boy. The reaction of a female athlete is very subjective and more introspective.
On this topic on the world of women and men I looked deeper with professional footballers agent Michela Macalli.