Rugby Lions: Obsession and team building

June 13, 2009

Riki Flutey

An interview with Jamie Roberts and Riki Flutey reveals how obsessiveness plays a part in building team spirit

In one of the many interviews with the Lions, Jamie Roberts and Riki Flutey talked about the importance of a responsibility with which they had been charged. The unlikely couple had been delegated the role of music providers to the team. They talked in all seriousness about the vital importance of the task for the team. I detected an obsessiveness to deliver that comes with total commitment

They were interviewed relaxing against a rather scruffy shoreline [which reminded me faintly of the Navy Coaling Station at Ocean Beach California.] It was no coincidence that two rivals for positions in the Lions test team had been encouraged to room together and given a shared task.

McGeeghan’s strategy had been to identify and build ‘combinations’ of two or three players who would play together, and were likely to be selected as mini-team units. Then there were further integrative efforts which took potential rivals and turned them into a unit responsible for a shared social task.

Like supplying music for the coach and the dressing room.

Good idea, eh?

Or am I imagining it all? Views welcomed.

[PS Jamie Roberts hurt his shoulder against the Sharks this week; Flutey may still have the bittersweet opportunity of replacing him in the test squad…]