Former All Blacks lock Todd Blackadder believes that discipline and competitiveness come easier to New Zealanders than the English players he has coached.
“At home [in New Zealand], guys just want to be better, they will do whatever it takes to get better,” Blackadder said. “For example, the discipline on the field is not giving a penalty away, the discipline is to do the same things over and over again.”
“It is ingrained in New Zealand players. It is so competitive, they are fast learners and they listen.
“Here, it feels a little bit like we are trying to lead you to drink water out of the trough, why are we making you do something you should want to do?”
Blackadder added that changing the collective mindset of English players will take time.
“You need strong leadership where they won’t tolerate mediocrity from each other,” he said.
“All those things take time. Even [getting to the point of] having a decent conversation about performance takes time.
“People tend to take things personally but I just need you to do the job and do things to the best of your ability. When you don’t do that, I have a problem.”
Blackadder was sure to not group all New Zealanders together but believes those that have vision succeed.
“I don’t think all New Zealanders are the same but I think the ones that have a real vision go on and become really successful.
“It is the national sport, we all love the game, it’s almost bred into us, there is that influence on how coaches and players think.”
“We as New Zealanders have self-belief, belief in our basics, the psychology and the game plan. “
Blackadder recently signed one-year contract extension with Bath, who currently sit sixth on the Premiership ladder.
In other news:
Sign up to our mailing list here and we’ll keep you up to the minute with weekly updates from the world of rugby.