Tom Savage

OPINION: Pressure on van Graan is no surprise given run of form

By Tom Savage / January 8, 2020 /

Any Head Coach or Director of Rugby is going to have to take that criticism at some point or another and this is the same with every team sport where coaches have authority. When you’re winning, you get people repeating your buzzwords Just think how many times you’ve heard people talk about “fight for every…

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OPINION: Season of goodwill is also the season of opportunity

By Tom Savage / December 18, 2019 /

I had to write it, but I didn’t want to. Even still, Munster were a poor decision in the last five minutes away from possibly coming away with a losing bonus point. That moment, choosing to go down the line rather than kick for the posts from just inside the 10m line on the 15m…

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Schmidt left the Ireland set up in a better place despite the criticism

By Tom Savage / December 12, 2019 /

Did you ever read a book you didn’t like? I have and I’m sure you have. I’ve read plenty but the one that really stands out was Dan Brown’s “The Da Vinci Code”. Firstly, the name is stupid because “Da Vinci” means “of Vinci” where Leonardo was born rather than it being a surname as…

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Old values have to be met with new philosophy to breed success

By Tom Savage / December 4, 2019 /

What has always been successful won’t always be successful. It’s true for soccer, just as true as it is for rugby. Just because you have always been successful doesn’t mean that you always will be. Just ask Manchester United, or Arsenal. Go back in time 10 years and tell fans of both clubs that, in…

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“Number on a jersey doesn’t always represent the role fulfilled”

By Tom Savage / November 27, 2019 /

My email went off again during a stream. It made a change from going off during a podcast recording after I forget to close the mail program, again, so that at least was a welcome surprise. I love receiving a non-spam email so when I saw that this email had a real person’s name attached…

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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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