Mick Byrne joins Wallabies as skills coach



  • http://www.sportal.co.nz/rugby/news/wallabies-bring-in-former-all-blacks-skills-coach-byrne/7wlsrjnyvupa1gmiuyc4465sa  Australia have added Mick Byrne, formerly of the All Blacks, as their skills coach.Former All Blacks skills coach Mick Byrne has returned to Australia, signing with the Wallabies until the end of the 2019 Rugby World Cup.Byrne, 57, worked with the Wallabies from 1998-2000 as a kicking coach before heading abroad, including being part of three World Cup campaigns with New Zealand.The former AFL player returned to Brisbane after his stint in New Zealand ended, becoming national director of sport at Sportstek Academies."The challenge to coach some aspiring athletes this past year has been really rewarding, especially enabling them to develop their skills and progress with their studies. It’s something I’ve really enjoyed," Byrne said."Being back in home Australia, and closer to the rugby community, I have seen some great progress in the game, and I’m looking forward to being part of its development alongside some very talented coaches, players and passionate administrators of the game."Working in a high-performance environment, with similar minded people, is something that I missed in time away from professional sport."I am grateful for the opportunity to work alongside people with similar aspirations for the sport here in Australia."Australian Rugby Union (ARU) general manager of high performance Ben Whitaker welcomed the addition of Byrne.He said: "Mick's appointment is part of the ARU's strategic plan to engage the best staff with expert capabilities to develop key areas across all levels of the sport."As national skills coach, Mick will be working closely with the Wallabies program and across our Super Rugby teams as well as having an active involvement in developing skills across age grade teams, sevens and our Wallaroos."His success speaks for itself, having played elite sport for many years before transferring those skills to coaching and working across several successful national programs."



  • Won't help the fact we've narrowed our base to almost inbred status



  • As pointed out in the other thread this is the first admission Cheika is not the messiah - much like when Robbie turfed the first set of assistants - after not giving two shits who they were because his brilliance would shine through.
    I genuinely predict a big play on Brad Thorn in the coming year to bring as much AB residue as possible.



  • Won't help the fact we've narrowed our base to almost inbred statusI had lunch this week with a couple of mates who coach junior rugby and they both said that they've never seen the game in such a bad state.



  • Not really a surprise when you see the way its "organised".
     
    The schools associations need to start thinking of ways to integrate, firstly at regional level i.e. within Sydney.
     
    The ARU needs a program to start getting it back into schools, but there are so many legal hurdles around aspects of the game (e.g. scrums) that it won't be taken seriously.



  • Getting Byrne is a good result though i reckon



  • The depth of knowledge he would have of the All Black players and systems would be immense you would think, bit of a coup that signing.
    He mentioned in one article being on the field after the RWC final it was odd seeing some of the Aus players he had known/coached previously...going to be even more odd you would think going into the Bledisloe in a few weeks!



  • The depth of knowledge he would have of the All Black players and systems would be immense you would think, bit of a coup that signing.

    Meh. Not sure that knowledge of individuals can't be figured out through the intense video analysis they get these days.



  • The depth of knowledge he would have of the All Black players and systems would be immense you would think, bit of a coup that signing.I wonder if what he's been exposed to is covered by non-disclosure.Unsurprising they've brought him in, although I get the distinct feeling the technical kicking and catching isn't the issue for the Wallabies, it's the aimless kicks without a chase that's the problem.Much as their attack coach has a team playing for lineouts and mauls...



  • I'm a big fan of Byrne, and think this is a great appointment. The key is his code-wide remit, hopefully will see some consistent standards seen from juniors all the way to Super Rugby.
     
    I can't see anything wrong with trying to emulate the set-up and approach of the All Blacks, as they have been the rugby gold standard for the last decade. Byrne is clearly a good operator, and I'm happy he's come home!



  • Who has taken these duties on for the All Blacks now, I thought I read McLean has but can't find that now?
    Edit: I see that Smith and Foster are sharing the role.



  • Who has taken these duties on for the All Blacks now, I thought I read McLean has but can't find that now?

    Smith absorbed most of it I think, I can't find a source but I believe I heard it from Fox in a radio interview.
    McLean only does opposition recon and video work.



  • Well hopefully Mick can kickstart (pun:) ) Australian rugby into something not currently resembling English rugby 10 years ago in it's nadir
     
    Honestly the fucken state of Australian rugby is currently horrendous (read shithouse)
     
    I've no doubt whatsoever there are great rugby people in the communities (we've got a couple on here) but the leadership and public persona of Aussie rugby has me comparing it to English rugby when they were fuckwits
     
    No enterprising back play from a country that had back play as a major strength
     
    An over reliance on a lineout driven rolling maul
     
    Scrums being used not to restart play for a corker backline move, but rather to draw in penalties
     
    Whinging coaches ala Dwyer and Larkhams performance on Friday night was about the biggest rugby sook ever - What the fuck were you going to do with the scrum penalties you were denied Steve? Pack down another cunting scrum??!!
     
    Whining moaning commentators calling everyone else cheats
     
    Whining, booing crowds with a false sense of importance - on Friday, it was a measly fucken forward pass, not a declaration of a worldwide tweed shortage!
     
    Whinging captains - fuck when the very guy you're trying to win over tells you to stop being a dick, well you've probably adopted a less than optimal approach to the whole thing
     
    Snide belittling TV marketing for the June tests - it's ok if you win though eh?
     
    Seriously I actually feel for the rugby people in Aus because the exposure I'm getting here in heartland AFL is one big disappointment/whinge/ lack of skills and pace (and space), which all suggests that the leaders and promotors of the game have gone awol
     
    Good luck Mick, the goodship ARU is listing badly and it's at the point where it's hard to see any favourable actions or stories at the moment
     
     
     
    rant over, genuine frustration for the Aus rugby people though



  • Sometimes these types of moves can come in handy for revealing secrets about the opposition for match day planning , at club level anyway,For an ex AFL bloke he really did develop into a good rugby brain , never heard a lot from him when involved with the ABs, but have seen a bit of him on the Aus rugby shows since , enjoyed listening to his insight .



  • Byrne played rugby and league in his younger years - came from Brisbane.



  • Strange that the press release didn't mention his two years with the Blues..
     
    It's a good signing by the Aussies, however it is worth noting where his success came. He did very well expanding the skillset of already world class players. When he worked with a fundamentally flawed team the players went backwards.



  • Byrne played rugby and league in his younger years - came from Brisbane.Ok wasnt aware of that , makes sense



  • Good luck Mick, the goodship ARU is listing badly and it's at the point where it's hard to see any favourable actions or stories at the moment

    Can't say I agree with a lot of this. Aus rugby/ARU can be an easy target here, and it's understandable you Kiwis love a pile-on from time to time. And who am I to get in the way of that?
     
    And I am a bit of an optimist, so take this with a grain of salt if you wish.
     
    In many ways, Aussie Rugby is in the best position it's been in for a while. Taking away Super results (which will peak and trough every few years), we've got a $$$ windfall from TV and a successful England tour, a genuine third-tier comp that is growing (NRC), a better approach to junior pathways and a fairly decent 5-year plan to grow the game here.
     
    The England series was a huge disappointment, obviously. All three games were belters, and we just weren't good enough. My gut feeling is we would have run through Wales/Ireland/France, but came up against the best NH side around and they were fired up to beat us. But sadly we weren't up for it.
     
    The outlook on the field isn't that much rosier, with the Bled very unlikely with two away games. But if we can finish second in the RC and unearth some new talent (eg DHP) then all is not lost.
     
    Ultimately there is two sides to every story. You raise some valid points Siam but to me it's not at all that bad.



  • I understand your optimism barb, but not sure i agree north of the border. The QRU is broke, and shedding staff. Their growth in the country areas has stagnated, and they have no way of doing anything about it. They are putting an extra surcharge on every registered player to try and boost their coffers, which makes subs in country Qld a pretty strong barrier to player growth (especially with competition from League clubs boosted by local pokie money). Reds membership is almost directly tied to success on the field, and i am sure i have been told it is dwindling again after the highs of 2011. Corporate interest in the Reds is a fickle beast as well, and with the Broncos eating up a big part of the pie, the Roar taking a bit more, and the Reds being a shambles, they are struggling to attract financial backing (lucky for them the Lions suck). 
     
    Aussies love a winner, and it's going to take a good RC season to get rugby back in the good books of the general public, especially if the Olympics go well. 
     
    If Qld is battling, then to me Australian rugby is battling.



  • Yeah those are fair point Mariner.
     
    My response would be the Reds have been shambolic before, and come out of it. Arguably they were a shambles for most of the 2000s, actually. With QC probably coming back and some good young talent (and old talent like George Smith) and there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
     
    The player drain at grassroots is the biggest problem across the country. A big part of it is just societal change, with the move away from contact sport and your traditional team sports. Not sure how the ARU can fight that.



  • I am sure they will come out of it, but no one has said that the current state of Aus rugby is terminal. I just think it is at a low point at the moment, with domestic success pretty scarce, a 3rd tier trying to get off the ground (yes it gets better every year, but it's not a main stay yet, and ignored by a lot of the country), and coming off a horrible June series, where there were losses, some uninspiring play, and finally a bit of criticism of the way Fox Sports markets rugby in this country. 
     
    I am sure Aus will come out of it well though. They are still a big rugby nation, they are still an international draw card, and it's only 10 months since a credible World Cup campaign. There isn't a shortage of money in this country, and money always helps. 
     
    A better focus on elite player development will help this though, as in this country you really can grow the game from the top down. 
     
     
    That doesn't involve spending shit loads on league wingers though, that's decision making by marketers.



  • Funnily enough the whole Fox Sports vs England thing barely registered here. Not sure what you saw up your way, but I don't think many Aussies care at all.



  • fair comment. More on line than anything. 
     
    Your thoughts?



  • It was all very tongue in cheek. They look like idiots now, but they knew that going into it. Just provokes discussion and that's exactly what they wanted.
     
    I'm happy if they want to make themselves the butt of the joke, and wouldn't mind if they did it again for the Bledisloe. It's all very harmless banter, and what makes the game fun IMO.
     
    I'm not a huge fan of the Fox commentators as a general rule, but I tell you what having to put up with the Channel 10 crew for the England tests and RWC puts them in a much kinder light.



  • would be interesting to see how the intellectual property thing works in instances like this, especially when it isn't like it is the moves and calls that are gonna be the issue, it is more about the culture and the behind the scenes stuff that Byrne has been part of that Aus will be looking to replicate, or at least with an Aussie spin on because chances are the way Hansen and co do stuff simply might not work in the Aussie environment.



  • One of the big issues is the utter lack of attention that the ARU and its member unions provide to junior football. One only needs to contrast the coaching and skills clinics run by the AFL and league at schools in comparison; name players involved with extensive programmes or a couple of hours with players no kid recognises. If you an't get them interested at that point, then you're never going to have the player numbers. 
     
    Then there's the two drop off factors; when club players go to schools and play for them, and after they finish school/ uni. The pathways from that point are lamentable. League is getting rid of the U20 comp because they recognise that it's better to call on a 24 year old who has learned his craft in reserve grade. The academies are disappearing because they cost too much to run.
     
    While the NRC is a good development, it seems to be yesterdays solution for today's problem. The historical depth for the Springboks and All Blacks came from their competition, but that's been nullified by the introduction of Super Rugby.



  • Yep, my boy has had clinics in his school for league by Jonathon Thurston, and basketball by any number of Taipans (actually their community involvement up here, especially with junior basketball, is huge), and AFL with Suns players.
     
    Contrast the one time the Reds did anything, it was 2 blokes i had never heard of, and it was one clinic for the whole of Cairns.
     
    Now, i understand that we are one very small market that may as well be in a different country to where the Reds are based, compared to the Cowboys and the Taipans, but the Reds have done fuck all up here. 
     
    We have had i think 3 pre-season games up here in the past 6 years. And in each the level of involvement of the Reds has decreased. In the last, they flew in the day before, and left the day after. In preseason. Contrast with the efforts put in by the Cowboys, Souths, Western Bulldogs and Suns when they have regular season games up here.



  • would be interesting to see how the intellectual property thing works in instances like this, especially when it isn't like it is the moves and calls that are gonna be the issue, it is more about the culture and the behind the scenes stuff that Byrne has been part of that Aus will be looking to replicate, or at least with an Aussie spin on because chances are the way Hansen and co do stuff simply might not work in the Aussie environment.

    I think the bold bit is key. You've got to tailor things to your team and environment. I always thought Dingo's problem was that Australia isn't Canterbury and what worked with one mindset didn't tranlate.



  • One of the big issues is the utter lack of attention that the ARU and its member unions provide to junior football.

    Worth noting that this week is National Rugby Week, with the ARU rolling out a series of school clinics, camps etc. Here is a quote from the ARU media release:
     
    Occurring in over 800 schools, National Rugby Week is a classroom and on-field program that teaches kids the fundamentals of Rugby as well as the game’s core values both on and off the field. The week culminates in a VIVA7s carnival, where students play the new fast, exciting non-contact version of the game, which may unearth the next generation’s Rugby Sevens Olympian.
     
    They are using the Olympics and 7s as the centrepiece of the campaign... not sure where the Wallabies fit into that, though.



  • Can't say I agree with a lot of this. Aus rugby/ARU can be an easy target here, and it's understandable you Kiwis love a pile-on from time to time. And who am I to get in the way of that?
     
    And I am a bit of an optimist, so take this with a grain of salt if you wish.
     
    In many ways, Aussie Rugby is in the best position it's been in for a while. Taking away Super results (which will peak and trough every few years), we've got a $$$ windfall from TV and a successful England tour, a genuine third-tier comp that is growing (NRC), a better approach to junior pathways and a fairly decent 5-year plan to grow the game here.
     
    The England series was a huge disappointment, obviously. All three games were belters, and we just weren't good enough. My gut feeling is we would have run through Wales/Ireland/France, but came up against the best NH side around and they were fired up to beat us. But sadly we weren't up for it.
     
    The outlook on the field isn't that much rosier, with the Bled very unlikely with two away games. But if we can finish second in the RC and unearth some new talent (eg DHP) then all is not lost.
     
    Ultimately there is two sides to every story. You raise some valid points Siam but to me it's not at all that bad.

    Fair enough barb - you are closer to the heart of Aussie rugby than I
     
    I tried not to make my post into a kiwi pile up because I genuinely am surprised at what's being churned out on tele and on the web as far as what passes for rugby observations/stories over here.
     
    Not too sure about the bolded part of your reply. If losing 3 zip at home, having deplorable super rugby teams, results, coach sackings, and a lack of any decent attacking rugby puts Aus rugby in a favourable position then I've over-estimated all the quality Australian rugby in the past.
     
    Still if finishing second in TRC, and giving an average Super player a couple of tests, is part of your KPI's, then all power to you.
     
    We had a cricket team in a similar state of mind until someone decided "fuck it, let's have some fun"
     
    I don't see a lot of joy or fun in Aussie rugby at the minute



  • The cricket analogy is a good one though.
     
    It's easy for you guys to say stuff like this from atop the rugby throne:

    Still if finishing second in TRC, and giving an average Super player a couple of tests, is part of your KPI's, then all power to you.

    But your view is very different to ours.
     
    Second in TRC is a good result in the best competition in the world. I could come on here, beat my chest with a 'win or go home' attitude, but that's not grounded in reality. We haven't beaten NZ at home for 15 years, just saying 'we want to be the best' doesn't make the task any easier.
     
    It's like the Black Caps. Yeah being the #1 test nation would be nice, but it's not a realistic goal in the short term. You take your wins when you can get them, and hope to lift your game against the big sides.
     
    We are competing for #2 in the world, that's just the reality of the situation.
     
    And on evidence of the England series, DHP is far from an average super player...



  • Yeah fair dues mate.
    Can you use your influence to get us all some aussie back play again...smiley, keyboard fucked



  • Haha I'm as keen for it as you.
     
    Waratahs had a few bright moments there, but it was slim pickings beyond that sadly.


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