If they have the right formula, you will be “running through brick walls”.
There are many ways for coaches to build Six Nations-winning teams. But which one is the best?
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BBC Radio 5 Live’s Six Nations Greatest Podcast features Sam Warburton, a former Wales and British Lions captain, and Danny Care, an England scrum-half, discussing their top Six Nations coaches.
They range from sixth to the top. Take a look at them and rank them yourself at bottom.
6. Eddie Jones
Care: “He’s the most ruthless coach and I don’t mean that in a nice way. He is an expert in every aspect of the game.
“I can still remember the first team meeting that we had in 2015, it was 2015. Because we lost our World Cup, we were the worst team in all of football.
He looked around and said, “Genuinely, lads. This is the team that can lift World Cup in four year’s time.” If you are willing to put in the effort to become the best team in the world in four years, this team will be there. And if it doesn’t convince you, get out of here because we’ll work hard.
“And it was difficult, it was very difficult, and lo and behold, England was there four years later.”
5. Joe Schmidt
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Warburton: “I loved playing with Ireland, but it was hard on the body. Ireland was always one of my favorite games to play. This was Joe Schmidt’s blueprint. Although it sounded difficult for the Irish players, it worked.
Care: You can’t turn off, you can’t take a break. It was necessary to stay on the job all the time.”
4. Clive Woodward
Care: “When you talk about Clive Woodward you also talk of that England team as one of the best ever in rugby.”
“Matt Dawson stated that he believed England’s infrastructure was superior to that of many other countries at the time. The money in the game, the players, and the facilities they used were so much better than most that England should have enjoyed that level of success.
“Obviously, you have to deliver. Clive was an incredible coach and won those titles. You also need to add the 2003 World Cup.
3. Warren Gatland
Warburton was the Wales and British and Irish Lions Captain. Imagine you’ve had a long training week. You have your Thursday meeting. We’d then have the entire 15-minute meeting. It’s quite emotional, and it’s getting closer to the game.
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“I can still remember him saying, “How are you guys feeling?” We were both thinking that it had been a tough week. He said “right, training’s over” and left the room. He would have spoken with the fitness staff. He knew when to lower volume.
He was great at developing and managing team environments and players. He was a great coach and a good manager. He was the best coach I have ever played rugby under.
2. Bernard Laporte
Warburton: “Looking back at Laporte’s record of 40 games in Six Nations under his guidance, France won 30. They won four titles over six years, and two Grand Slams.
“I have had breakfast with him in southern France. 2013 was when Laporte was the club’s coach. I went to Toulon. I met Bernard Laporte, the owner. This beachside restaurant served breakfast.
1. Shaun Edwards
Edwards was Warburton’s coach throughout his Wales career.
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He would have three to four key messages that he would repeat throughout the week. You would be reminded of everything you needed to deliver every day.
You don’t want to disappoint him. Everyone saw his reviews and, if you’re poor, everyone saw it. If you were good, everyone saw it.