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Rhys Carre: 'I've stopped trying to be someone I'm not'

The gainline-busting Cardiff Rugby loosehead has been one of the form players in the URC and he wants his opportunity with Wales

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'I didn't need to walk in that changing room and flip over a table'

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Rookie Leicester boss Richard Wigglesworth has revealed he didn’t lose the rag with his Tigers players when he entered the AJ Bell dressing room following last Friday’s 5-40 thrashing at Sale. The 39-year-old was recently handed the reins at Welford Road following the mid-season departure of Steve Borthwick to take charge of England.

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The reshuffle resulted in player/coach Wigglesworth immediately retiring as a player and agreeing to become the interim head coach until the end of the current season. His maiden outing as boss went well, Leicester defeating Gloucester 28-13 on Christmas Eve with an impressive second-half comeback.

However, things went awry in Wigglesworth’s first away game in charge, the Tigers fading badly in the second period in Manchester to meekly lose by 35 points. For someone who was usually an emotional guy as a player, the situation at Sale seemed readymade for some hairdryer treatment to be meted out, but the new boss assured that this wasn’t the case as he has no intention of becoming a fist-pumping coach.

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“There were a few that were worried about me walking in the dressing room but I was calm enough, calm enough,” insisted Wigglesworth at his media briefing ahead of this Saturday’s Leicester trip to Newcastle.

“I have been in changing rooms where you have been badly beaten and sometimes had a rocket and sometimes not. Has it affected what you have done the next week? Not so much… I have been in plenty of them and I didn’t need to walk into that changing room and flip over a table for them to know that we got some things wrong.

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“As a character, you would describe me as emotional. You know I am there, you know I’m around, I’d quite loud, but I’d like to think I have been in the game long enough and have had enough first-pumping coaches at different points to know that’s not what you want to do. That will not get the job done over a long period of time. Yes, I want to be calm and considerate but I want to be really authentic, to be myself with skill so I am going to try and upskill myself as much as possible.”

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Having enjoyed a stellar 20-year playing career for Sale, Saracens, Leicester and England, Wigglesworth has encountered a plethora of coaches who have moulded him but he refused to single out any particular influence for fear that his other coaches might take offence.

“I have thought about this a lot: I have had so many good ones that if I name them I will feel like I am missing guys out because the people that I played under, their record speaks for themselves. So I have learned a load from when I first went to Sale to the brilliant coaches I had at Saracens to working under Steve.

“The reason I came to Leicester was Steve because I met him and he was like this guy I’d worked with at England – I knew he was good and got more than I bargained for. So I have been able to work under and for some elite coaches at club and international level.

“I have tried to take, steal and borrow all the best bits from them guys but it is me now standing in front of the players, it’s me trying to be the best coach I can be. It’s just trying to take the best learnings I can from them.”

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