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Do England Need Scrum Coach? We Never Did!
As we all wait with anticipation for the start of the Six Nations, the time for announcing the squads has arrived.

After a World Cup, there is a sense that teams have to be rebuilt whether coaching or playing, and there seems an overwhelming desire to break it down and start again whatever your results.

With Japan now a fading memory and France coming more into focus on the horizon, it seems that everyone is keen to start the rebuild as early as possible.

In the Six Nations, only Scotland and England have kept the same head coach, while Wales, Ireland, France and Italy have new men to take them forward.

In England, Eddie Jones has sought to bolster England’s fragile scrum (that’s something I never thought I’d have to write) by bringing in Matt Proudfoot, the man credited with shaping the South African scrum that hammered England in the World Cup final.

Personally, I have never understood why we now need a scrum coach at the international level. I realize the need to teach kids how to scrummage properly, making sure they have the correct technique and body position to keep safe, etc., but experienced international rugby players?

When I played we had Roger Utley as our coach. He was helped during sessions by Geoff Cooke the manager as we ran through unopposed and semi-opposed practice games.

When we finished those and the backs went off to wash their hair, we would have a scrummaging session either live or against a machine.

Roger would come and oversee what we were doing but never coached us on how to scrum.

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January 19, 2020