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Tom Savage

OPINION: There is a brutal simplicity to coaching

By Tom Savage / November 20, 2019 /

Win and it’s easy. You’re a genius. The media start talking about all your little training gimmicks during the week as if they were nuggets of gold. All a player has to do is drop an inside term – “Stuesdays” – during a particularly loose media session and, as long as you keep winning, it’ll…

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OPINION: Professional sport isn’t real life it’s entertainment

By Tom Savage / November 15, 2019 /

I was talking with a guy I used to play with in Italy recently and, after all the usual catching up, we got down to how he was still devastated after losing to the local rivals last year. “I feel it every day still,” he said. “I can’t wait until we play them again. We…

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OPINION: Imagine loving omelettes but hating the idea of any eggs being broken

By Tom Savage / October 30, 2019 /

This is the relationship between fan expectation and elite sporting performance and it’s the task facing Andy Farrell over the next 100 days as he prepares for his first Six Nations game. Andy Farrell has to make a new omelette for a sporting public and media that, despite what they say, really doesn’t like seeing…

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Gradual integration is the best way for Munster to develop their young talent

By Tom Savage / October 9, 2019 /

If you’re a child of the 80s and a retro soccer fan, as I am then Alan Hansen’s post-match analysis of Manchester United’s 3-1 defeat to Aston Villa on Match of the Day in 1995 will probably be one of those “burned-in” memories. The beige suit. The blue studio background. The “your nan’s sofa” pattern…

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Opinion: Don’t Give Joe Schmidt 9 Months To Plan For 1 Game

By Tom Savage / September 24, 2019 /

The main moral of the story at the end of Ireland’s 27-3 brutalising of Scotland on Saturday was, in my opinion, “don’t give Joe Schmidt nine months to prepare for one game” because when Schmidt gets it right, it can be like trying to play a strategy game you’ve never played before, in Mandarin, and…

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World Cup crucial in defining Schmidt era in Ireland

By Tom Savage / September 17, 2019 /

I can’t imagine the pressure sitting on Joe Schmidt’s shoulders this week. Four years of preparation, squad building and system management boils down to 43 days of rugby and seven games if he’s lucky. Who’d be a coach? Schmidt’s legacy as the greatest Irish rugby coach in living memory is all but assured, but adding…

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New coaching ticket does not mean instant success for Munster

By Tom Savage / June 20, 2019 /

The hiring of Graham Rowntree and Stephen Larkham is no guarantee of success. But if you were looking for a way to push Munster on from recent losses, the hiring of this kind of combined coaching experience would be exactly how you would go about it. For that, the PGB of Munster Rugby deserve unanimous praise. The…

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Instinct is key if Munster are to improve their attack

By Tom Savage / May 23, 2019 /

The margins between a line break that leads to a try and a phase that ends in a ruck reset are smaller than you’d think. All it takes is one slow pass, one blown line, one bad alignment and one bad decision to let the defence back into the equation. As an attack, I think…

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Munster are not that far away from the very top

By Tom Savage / May 16, 2019 /

Sport, like life, is a wheel that you don’t know you’re on until you get crushed at the bottom. Actually no, that isn’t quite true. Sport is actually like real life but on ketamine. You’re a loser until you’re a winner until you stop winning and then you’re broken, a has been. Not only that,…

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The only way to deal with online trolling is to ignore it and let it die

By Tom Savage / May 2, 2019 /

It’s easy to draw attention if you don’t have any standards for yourself. Don’t believe me? Just strip naked and start loudly abusing passers by in your local shopping centre and you’ll have eyeballs on you before long. Now, as the crowd swells around you, some to fight you, others to watch the chaos, happy…

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