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Pragmatism versus parochialism 
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Post Pragmatism versus parochialism
I know this has been covered on another thread, but 2 of the regions at least have now come out and supported( in principle at least) Andrew Hore's plan for a 10 week conditioning programme for current Internationals. However they are saying that the fringe or development players should be allowed to play. So is it more important to get these development players up to the same standard as the current crop or should each case be judged on merit, and hope they catch up over a longer period?


Wed Aug 18, 2004 1:25 pm
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Whats more important, IMHO, is that we need to do away witht he need for Hores 10 week conditioning programme.

The players in the "elite few" will be getting fitter, those left behind will be, ahem, left behind, in terms of fitness.

We should be concentrating on producing club players with an acceptable level of fitness that this kind of programme is uneccessary.

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Wed Aug 18, 2004 1:30 pm
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Post Re: Pragmatism versus parochialism
Keith Lawrence wrote:
I know this has been covered on another thread, but 2 of the regions at least have now come out and supported( in principle at least) Andrew Hore's plan for a 10 week conditioning programme for current Internationals. However they are saying that the fringe or development players should be allowed to play. So is it more important to get these development players up to the same standard as the current crop or should each case be judged on merit, and hope they catch up over a longer period?


I don't know too much detail but as an outsider looking in it looks like a 2 tier system is being arrived at whereby top squads will be saved for the HC and 2nd stringers will compete in the CL.

The CL players will never (or very rerely) play at the intensity in the CL to step up to the top boys (who's matches will be at the highest intensity) as Ireland have adopted the same policy and the Scots seem weak all around.

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Wed Aug 18, 2004 1:31 pm
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CymraegJanner wrote:
Whats more important, IMHO, is that we need to do away witht he need for Hores 10 week conditioning programme.

The players in the "elite few" will be getting fitter, those left behind will be, ahem, left behind, in terms of fitness.

We should be concentrating on producing club players with an acceptable level of fitness that this kind of programme is uneccessary.


Good points well made CJ but the reality is we are years behind the top teams in terms of physical conditioning, so this is not a quick fix, but a plan to get us to where we should be. Development of the club players should of course also be a priority as this is where the future lies, but I guess we have to start somewhere and that would be with the (perceived?) elite.


Wed Aug 18, 2004 1:42 pm
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Keith Lawrence wrote:
Good points well made CJ but the reality is we are years behind the top teams in terms of physical conditioning, so this is not a quick fix, but a plan to get us to where we should be. Development of the club players should of course also be a priority as this is where the future lies, but I guess we have to start somewhere and that would be with the (perceived?) elite.


Surely if we raise the level of some of our players when the others play against them they will be playing a higher level of competition which should therefore raise their game? I think that we're going to have to find time for condidtioning work at some stage to compete on a global scale, but I'm not sure that this is the time/place for it.

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Wed Aug 18, 2004 1:47 pm
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Surely if we raise the level of some of our players when the others play against them they will be playing a higher level of competition which should therefore raise their game? I think that we're going to have to find time for condidtioning work at some stage to compete on a global scale, but I'm not sure that this is the time/place for it.[/quote]

But when is the right time Jason? There is little point in appointing a recognised/respected expert in his field and then fail to implement his suggestions. This is the second year of Regional rugby so we are still getting to grips with it, I think we all said it would take 3-4 years to bed in and part of that process was to get the players fitter and stronger. Yes timing of announcement was crap, but when is it ever going to be good?


Wed Aug 18, 2004 2:23 pm
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It elevates the "elite" few and pretty much damns the rest...

Actually Iam for it, it pisses me off, but Iam for it, for now, one season only (and following later on a post about central contracts by terry on how this would all be achieved by them, balls the benefits do not outweigh the disadvantages of central contracts and all goals can be achieved without them)

We are behind in physical development, and a national coaches job is to concentrate on results, so this needs to be done, its the papering over the cracks approach that Henry has been criticised for, but thats what national coaches should do.

Instead of needing this 10 week condiditoning programme next season, Hore the WRU and everybody else involved must come up with a central fitness regime and target system for every Welsh player listed as available for the top level clubs (in Wales obviously), incorporating this 10 week conditioning programme and anything else wonderful and miraculous needed.

Any players not meeting these standards/targets, the club is fined, if they then wann a fine the player thats fine, but ultimately its their responsibility, this approach toi holding clubs responsible will cause a more defining trend down the leagues.

Following on we have around 120 top level top fitness professional players, who play regularly in the highest competitions, keeps the fans happy and involves them more with the development of players at their clubs, if by nothing else their prescence.

International 30 players canthen focus more on tactics and run throughs than fitness at international games, benefits for everyone :) :)

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Wed Aug 18, 2004 2:31 pm
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Keith Lawrence wrote:
Surely if we raise the level of some of our players when the others play against them they will be playing a higher level of competition which should therefore raise their game? I think that we're going to have to find time for condidtioning work at some stage to compete on a global scale, but I'm not sure that this is the time/place for it.


But when is the right time Jason? There is little point in appointing a recognised/respected expert in his field and then fail to implement his suggestions. This is the second year of Regional rugby so we are still getting to grips with it, I think we all said it would take 3-4 years to bed in and part of that process was to get the players fitter and stronger. Yes timing of announcement was crap, but when is it ever going to be good?[/quote]

Firstly if the top level players are off conditioning themselves, then the upcoming youngsters never get to play against them, cos they will be held back for HC and top level games, and rarely with them, as aI said previously with a central fitness standard, those at clubs benefit by the very prescence of the top players if nothing else.

This concept of the second year of regional rugby is beyond me, yes we have less teams, yes we have a more concentrated pool of higher quality players, but has anything really changed, firtness levels hanevt really changed, noises have been made towards more professional coaching methods and approaches, but has anything really changed?

ITs gonna take 3-4 years to get the international "elite" few up to fitness standards, ho much time does this 10 week programme but the players in the elite group ahead of the grunts at the clubs? If as I said nothings changed at club level its gonna take a hell of a lot longer to get these fitness levels up, no different than it was before.

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Wed Aug 18, 2004 2:36 pm
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Simple question to cut the crap :

Given that our players are, at least, somewhat fit - how long should it take to get them to peak level ???
it's not rocket science and it shouldn't take light years for goodness sake :bootyshake:


Wed Aug 18, 2004 3:02 pm
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gwynt wrote:
Simple question to cut the crap :

Given that our players are, at least, somewhat fit - how long should it take to get them to peak level ???
it's not rocket science and it shouldn't take light years for goodness sake :bootyshake:


Did I not make that point, I thought I did, probably not, but I meant to, maybe went around the point but not quite there.

apparently 10 weeks for some though Terry!!!

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Wed Aug 18, 2004 3:06 pm
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CymraegJanner wrote:
gwynt wrote:
Simple question to cut the crap :

Given that our players are, at least, somewhat fit - how long should it take to get them to peak level ???
it's not rocket science and it shouldn't take light years for goodness sake :bootyshake:


Did I not make that point, I thought I did, probably not, but I meant to, maybe went around the point but not quite there.

apparently 10 weeks for some though Terry!!!


I think that there is some confusion though around the 'condition' of the players. Now I don't pretend to understand the finer points but I think Andrew Hore is trying to physically condition the players bettter, ie not make them fitter necessarily, but be in a better physical condition ie bigger stronger, they are already fit. He has also said that in conditiong terms we are aged 3 whereas the likes of NZ are aged 8, don't ask me what the Feck he's talking about cos I don't know, but if someone could explain this I think we all wouldfhave a better understanding of what he is trying to achieve.
If any of you lot know then please pass it on.


Wed Aug 18, 2004 3:13 pm
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Keith Lawrence wrote:
CymraegJanner wrote:
gwynt wrote:
Simple question to cut the crap :

Given that our players are, at least, somewhat fit - how long should it take to get them to peak level ???
it's not rocket science and it shouldn't take light years for goodness sake :bootyshake:


Did I not make that point, I thought I did, probably not, but I meant to, maybe went around the point but not quite there.

apparently 10 weeks for some though Terry!!!


I think that there is some confusion though around the 'condition' of the players. Now I don't pretend to understand the finer points but I think Andrew Hore is trying to physically condition the players bettter, ie not make them fitter necessarily, but be in a better physical condition ie bigger stronger, they are already fit. He has also said that in conditiong terms we are aged 3 whereas the likes of NZ are aged 8, don't ask me what the Feck he's talking about cos I don't know, but if someone could explain this I think we all wouldfhave a better understanding of what he is trying to achieve.
If any of you lot know then please pass it on.


My question was a leading one because I think, with my usual cynicism, that this 'fitness' debate is up the wrong tree :

to get to the level of the best we need to shovel as much creatine etc as we find down their throats, implement a 20 year Pacific Islander/Zulu/Afrikhaner Boer/Convict Island inhabitant/Sheep farmer cross breeding programme and we just might get there !

Seriously I believe the body/muscle condition improvement of some players, in my opinion Neil Back is a 'good' example, must ask some serious questions as to its origins... Creatine is legal is it not !?

This isn't bleating just reality ! I'd bet that given the best concentrated purely 'conditioning' routine would never achieve the same levels of physique currently carried by the top teams (and thsi does not include France).


Wed Aug 18, 2004 3:37 pm
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Keith Lawrence wrote:
But when is the right time Jason? There is little point in appointing a recognised/respected expert in his field and then fail to implement his suggestions. This is the second year of Regional rugby so we are still getting to grips with it, I think we all said it would take 3-4 years to bed in and part of that process was to get the players fitter and stronger. Yes timing of announcement was crap, but when is it ever going to be good?


The right time would have been during the summer having arranged a softer tour which didn't take place at 3 different altitudes over 2 weeks on 2 continents.

We have a softer tour next summer and I imagine that this will involve some sort of conditioning schedule, but of course will be of no benefit to the players on the Lions tour.

I guess we're going to have to bite the bullet an accept that our players aren't available for the next 3 weeks, but is 3 weeks really enough and I'm unhappy about these player exemptions, because surely the whole squad needs the conditioning work - not just the players that played in the tests? Unless we're talking about 3 weeks of rest & recovery.

I'm just fed up at how badly managed the whole thing has been... again :roll:

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Wed Aug 18, 2004 3:56 pm
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Ahh the lions, getting in the way again...........

Iam pissed off too jason but gonna have to accept it.

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Wed Aug 18, 2004 3:57 pm
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CymraegJanner wrote:
Firstly if the top level players are off conditioning themselves, then the upcoming youngsters never get to play against them, cos they will be held back for HC and top level games, and rarely with them, as aI said previously with a central fitness standard, those at clubs benefit by the very prescence of the top players if nothing else.


I don't subscribe to this theory because we're talking about 30 players here. Split them between 4 clubs and that gives us 7 or 8 players per club. In these high intesity games there are still going to be 12 or 13 players (including subs) who haven't had the conditioning work. Whilst people expect that these "top" players will only play in HC games (which for some teams will only be 6 games - what are they going to do for the rest of the year?) You're not telling me that at least some of these top players aren't going to play against the other Welsh sides in the local derbies (which have involved the highest attendances last season). Thus the junior players will be exposed to this increased intensity at some stage (not to mention training with the "top" players on their own team).

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Wed Aug 18, 2004 4:03 pm
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