McGeechan to tap into Olympics success
August 14, 2012
Sir Ian McGeechan will form part of an RFU review into elite rugby © Getty Images
Sir Ian McGeechan has vowed to draw on Team GB's blueprint for Olympics success in his appraisal of elite rugby in England.
The Rugby Football Union (RFU) announced yesterday that McGeechan, one of the most respected minds in rugby, and former UK Sport performance director Peter Keen will review all aspects of the senior England side in the coming months. In his former role, Keen is widely credited with putting the structures in place that led to a glut of gold medals at the Beijing and London Olympics and McGeechan believes England could benefit from the same approach.
"As Team GB have shown so wonderfully over the last fortnight, if you get the right programmes and structures in place, then you've got a chance of achieving things," McGeechan told the Daily Telegraph. "We want to use our collective knowledge to give the players, like the athletes, the best possible chance to succeed."
McGeechan, who has coached the British & Irish Lions on two winning tours and also won the Premiership and Heineken Cup with Wasps, was part of the four-man panel that recommended the appointment of Stuart Lancaster as England head coach. He has already met with Keen and the high-profile duo hope to report back to RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie by the end of the year.
"Ian has given us an open remit," said McGeechan. "We'll be looking into everything that goes into producing an elite team, from players to conditioning to talent identification. We'll be talking coaches as well as player with a view to helping put England in a position to be able to win things."
Lancaster has already expressed his admiration for Team GB's efforts earlier this month. "In my former role I managed to sneak myself into the UK Sport coaching conference," he explained last week. "You go there as a coach yourself and meet the coach of taekwondo or hockey or whatever and they all do their presentations and you come out thinking actually there are a lot of good coaches out here.
"I also understood the mission 2012 concept and how UK Sport and Peter Keen assessed and appraised each sport. I could see how they had systematically planned for the Olympics and the governing bodies had invested time in them. I have been able to take all that learning and apply it rugby."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"This team deserves to be recognised as the greatest of all time." Huw Richards looks at Gareth Edwards' final match for Wales
The two leading contenders for the best modern open-side flanker go head to head in Paris on Saturday. John Taylor assesses the tale of the tape
Move over, Castro - from falling off a chair to stepping off the team bus, Scrum Sevens recounts some of the strangest rugby injuries ever
Martin Gillingham on the latest from France and why the national side can learn a thing or two from Top 14 side Bordeaux Begles