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STARR INSIGHTS: How to be the best team

by Felix Symonds

I think we can all take from a little bit from sport, business and military, but this is a focus on sport.

At the time of writing, England Rugby are on the cusp of “greatness” as stated by Eddie Jones, only a day away from potentially recording a record-breaking 19 straight wins and surpassing, who I would say is, the greatest team to have graced Rugby Union: New Zealand. All that stands in their way is a strong Ireland team in Ireland on St.Patricks weekend, that’s no mean feat now, is it?

England have a relatively unchanged squad, with the addition of a couple of younger and less experienced players. So what’s changed since England lost to Wales & Australia in the World Cup back in October 2015?

In my mind the fundamental change has been attitude and management which has to be attributed to Eddie Jones. He has a proven record of giving his players and coaching staff a licence to express themselves. The players are given a basic game plan and then freedom to play what they see in front of them. They are also given the responsibility to be held accountable to each other, whenever you hear them in an interview they are all repeating the same messages, some might think that is brain washing and the “go-to line” but these guys actually believe what they have been told and bought into it, that’s why they repeat it.

I read an article earlier today about New Zealand rugby’s Mental Strength coach, Gilbert Enoka, and about how he has been working with the All Black to make them the greatest and how they all strive to continue to be the best. The key factors to this are:

1. What it takes to be an All Black

2. Team Culture

3. How to deal with high pressure situations

4. No d*ckheads or big ego’s

Now if you think about all of those areas in business or any team you work within it’s really important that you get the right balance. When things go wrong, I bet my bottom dollar that you could attribute the failure to one of these keys points.

Personally, I think England have addressed this balance and, regardless of whether England set the record against Ireland set by the best team in the world, these stories will start to come out about how they did it and what their secret was. Eddie Jones has been clear that he wanted to emulate the All Blacks but said from the start that what works for them won’t work for England. Again, I believe that he has addressed these fundamentals but from a different view point

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