Dubbo Photo News & Dubbo Weekender

“Coachability” just as important as “ability” in rugby

Photo: Mel Pocknall Photo: Mel Pocknall

Recently appointed NSW Waratah’s Pathways Development Officer and former international, Pat McCutcheon, was in Dubbo last week to cast his eye over an impressive group of Combined High Schools (CHS) players from across NSW.

The former Narromine and Dubbo junior Kangaroos’ forward, who went on to a stellar career with the ‘Tahs, Wallaby 7s and the Rio Olympics, was very impressed with what he saw.

“These young blokes are the future of our sport. I spent some time with coaches and selectors running through the criteria we have set out for our Junior Tahs’ development squads,” Pat told Dubbo Photo News.

“Natural ability, strength and dedication are all important attributes, but players have to be coachable. That means they are prepared to listen, to work hard on set programs that are set out and exhibit commitment to working as part of a team.

“Many skills can be taught to those with the right attitude but some players with loads of talent are not easy to coach. Their inability to grasp new concepts or to grasp the importance of a team culture will limit their pathways, and that’s what I have been stressing to the team officials,” he explained.

Size was a major factor in the end. Our Western boys were cast into the repechage pools following losses in the early rounds but recovered to finish runners up in the Plate Final.

Sydney North East took the Ewart Robson Shield in impressive fashion, downing Sydney North West 32-17 in the final on Thursday afternoon.

CHS teams for the upcoming All Schools Championships were named following the Carnival convened by Tottenham School principal Amanda Thorpe. As expected from the results of the 12 regional teams, the CHS sides are dominated by city-based players with only a sprinkling from the Hunter, Central Coast and three players from North West, including two from Farrer High in Tamworth.

Mel Pocknall’s action shots on this page are from the Hunter v Sydney South West match.