Rugby must remain a meritocracy say Blues coaches
THE RFU must retain the reward of promotion and the threat of relegation for the integrity of their competitions according to Bedford Blues’ management team, writes Mark Wood.
Forwards coach Martin Hynes and team manager Rob Crowle were in complete agreement that whoever wins out in the Championship final between the Cornish Pirates and London Welsh they should be elevated into the Premiership – but only the Exiles could meet the criteria.
Equally, underperforming Newcastle Falcons should have to live with life in the Championship as they believe meritocracy is the key ingredient to competitive sport.
Hynes said: “Ultimately sport is what it is and I don’t really care now who goes on to win this, whether it’s Cornish Pirates or whether it’s these lot (Welsh). Whoever goes on to win it I hope they get a fair crack and maybe a chance to go up because sport is what it is. If you look at Wigan going to Man United in the league and getting a win there. Sport is what it is and unless there is a threat of relegation and promotion it becomes nothing.
“It’s not a money thing, sport is blood sweat and tears. And if you’ve won the day you deserve the desserts that go with it.
“Whichever one of the two sides kick on I wish them the best and hopefully they will see sense with the promotion and relegation and give them a go.
“Nobody runs the Championship properly. There’s no-one who pays any attention to it. It’s all focused on the Premiership and that’s great. It is the main competition in the country, don’t get me wrong.
“But like I say, sport it sport and if you win the day you deserve to go up. And if you’ve underachieved, and sides have done at the bottom of the Premiership, then there you go, it’s snakes and ladders.”
Every year the Blues go out to win the competition and Hynes is adamant that’s what the coaching staff have to concentrate on.
He continued: “People say about it being competitive, but to be quite honest with you every year we say never mind it being competitive let’s go and win the competition.
“That’s what we aim to do. We are competitive people in the management group and we want to win every game.
“Obviously that’s not achievable but that’s what we set out to do. Actually our job isn’t about seeing whether the ground is good enough to go up, or the fact that finance is in place, our job is to win the next game. That’s absolutely what we try and do.”
And Crowle pointed to the success story of Exeter Chiefs who have taken the Premiership by storm in the last couple of seasons.
He said: “We are always pleased to see how Exeter are doing in the Premiership. Because they represent a lot of what people in the Championship want to apire to.
“It’s great to see it and as soon as they stop doing it it’s just people up there spending other people’s money to stay up. It’s a closed shop.”
He also believes that the Championship is a great breeding ground for future Premiership and even international stars.
He added: “Some of the Sarries boys we have come and play for us they are actually playing meaningful men’s rugby. The forwards have the experience of Hynesy on them and they go back better players and we like to think they got back better people as well.
“Because we are a part-time club and they have to grow up a bit rather than having it being spoon-fed all the time.
“They come, they play and they learn a good style of rugby.
“I think a lot of young players could do well to go and go play in the Championship rather than staying in the Premiership.
“You’ve got this academy situation where everything is done for them and they do more in the gym than they do on the pitch.
“You also see players playing international rugby. Albeit they’ve only spent a little time with us but there’s a lot of players that have gone on from Bedford to play for England and in the Premiership. They’ve obviously developed their game with us and learned to be competitive. That’s what we like, rather than turn up, learn to do a job and look good in the gym they don’t know how to play a game of rugby.”
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Wednesday 22 May 2013
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