Steve Mitchell from www.rugbymatters.net recently interviewed Geoff Richards, the former rugby union player and coach. He coached England at the 2006 Women’s Rugby World Cup and then resigned as Head Coach in 2007. The article was published in the Rugby Times.
Here are some of his thoughts in his own words. When asked how he and the team responded to losing to New Zealand in the World Cup Final, Geoff Richards said, ““Following the last World Cup in Barcelona, we were very disappointed, we had set our sights high and wanted to win but you have to take away the positives and move forward. We had after all moved up in the World rankings from third best to second best in the World.”
When asked whose decision it was to switch Selena Rudge from center to hooker, Geoff Richards responded,
“It was her decision and it started some time ago before the World Cup. It arose from the way she plays, she loves contact and really wanted to play in the forwards where she would be more comfortable. She has fantastic abilities but she has to learn the technical aspects of that position and she is doing that and working on the scrummaging aspects of play and that’s coming and as it does she will develop as an international in her new position.”
Mitchell then asked him how he can ensure that the team maintains its streak of form. Richards answered, “Well, it’s all down to the individual and personal bests. How we can help them to develop as a player and as a unit. There is still a lot that we can do, but above all we need to be playing New Zealand every year. They are so strong that when you play against them it becomes a different game. We need to be playing top opposition and the more you play them, the better you are going to get. That isn’t to say that the women’s game is in anything like a two tier Six Nations situation, women’s rugby is still a fast developing sport amongst all of the competing nations and we ourselves expect a very vigorous examination against Scotland in a couple of weeks time.”