I hope to keep my links with the Aviva Premiership clubs. I think it’s vital for England’s coaching team to have a strong bond with our clubs. I did find it difficult with some at first because they thought I’d go back and tell Leicester (my former club) all their secrets.But I want to explain to those clubs that I want to learn from them as well and I’ve learnt a lot from the great coaches in the Premiership. I hope I give something to them too. It isn’t a case of me coming into their clubs and telling them how it should be.To be a successful international coach you need to show humility and have an eagerness to learn. As an England coaching team we need to be transparent.This article appeared in the February 2012 issue of Rugby World Magazine. Find a newsagent that sells Rugby World in the UK. Or you may prefer the digital edition on your MAC, PC, or iPad. Are you heading to Twickenham Stadium for the Six Nations?These exciting times for English rugby and I’m looking forward to the RBS 6 Nations hugely, writes the new England coach.And what a start we’ve been handed. Who wouldn’t look forward to coaching a team to take on Scotland at Murrayfield? It doesn’t get much harder than that. We have a tough draw this year as we have to travel to all the blues – Scotland, France and Italy.England coach Graham RowntreeEngland-Scotland is the oldest International but our pool game in this season’s World Cup gives us recent history as well. They won’t forget how we only won that game in the final few minutes. They’ll be licking their lips at the thought of having England in town but what a place for us to put a marker down.I haven’t looked beyond the Six Nations. All I can focus on now is the things I can control. If we perform well in the Six Nations then everything else will follow. I know one thing – the whole of rugby will be looking to see how we respond to our World Cup disappointment.I was an England player in 1999 when the side last got knocked out at the quarter-final stage. And four years on from that we were champions. There will, of course, be new players in the squad and some will be young, but just because a guy is in his early 30s it doesn’t mean he won’t get picked. I know I was in the prime of my playing career when I was in my early 30s.We will select the side on form and we’ll already be missing a few players, including Steve Thompson and Jonny Willkinson, because of retirements. We also have a number of young players in the current group, some of them on 20 or 30 caps.In terms of young talent there’s a huge number of players coming through. You only have to look at Harlequins to see that, or the Gloucester backs.Stuart Lancaster, Andy Farrell and I see ourselves as the England coaching team rather than any sort of interim group. We have to see it that way. We have to believe that if we’re successful we can keep the jobs full-time. And I certainly believe we can be successful with this group of players.Even before this time I was involved in more than coaching the scrum with England, but I do accept this is a big step up for me to be forwards coach.The first notable decision made was cancelling this month’s training camp in Portugal. They have great facilities over there but Stuart thought it important to stay in our own country during this crucial time, so that we’re accessible. It was also useful to change things as we’ve gone there for a number of years now. For Back Issues Contact John Denton Services at 01733-385-170 Would you like to sign up to Rugby World’s excellent weekly email newsletter? Click here. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS
The Indian men’s hockey team suffered a 3-1 defeat at the hands of hosts Belgium, their second consecutive defeat in the Tour of Europe, to lose the series 2-0 in Boom last evening.While Tom Boon scored a 60th minute goal to take home the winning points in the first match which otherwise was headed to a goalless draw, the Belgian squad ranked No.5 in the world beat India in the second match to wrap up the series.Though India which comprised of a young brigade that included as many as nine players from the 2016 Junior World Cup winning team put up a resilient show with quality defence in both the games, the team fell short in terms of posing a real threat with their attack.In the first match against Belgium, six Indian players Varun Kumar, Gurjant Singh, Armaan Qureshi, Dipsan Tirkey, Nilakanta Sharma and Suraj Karkera made their international debut and ensured they put up a commendable performance.The team led by midfielder Manpreet Singh pushed Belgium to the limits with strong defence that saw Varun Kumar, Dipsan Tirkey, Gurinder Singh and Amit Rohidas hold fort along with the experienced Kothajit Singh. They rallied together and set a pattern that one would see repeated over the course of the game. Though it was the Belgians who started strong with opportunities being created in the striking circle, Akash Chikte was up to the task right from the first hooter as he denied Belgian attackers from scoring.But a small error in the striking circle saw India concede a crucial PC in the dying minute of the match. Experienced drag flicker Tom Boon ensured the opportunity didn’t go amiss as he successfully beat rookie goalkeeper Karkera who had replaced Chikte in the final quarter to seal the match for Belgium. The first match ended 1-0 in favour of Belgium.advertisementThe second match on Thursday began under overcast weather conditions with India setting the momentum of the match with a head start. While Karkera made a brilliant save in the initial minutes of the first quarter, forward Armaan Qureshi drew first blood with a well-struck field goal in the 4th minute that earned India a 1-0 lead. Though India won an opportunity to double the lead soon after with a penalty corner, the chance went amiss.The following minutes saw India keep Belgium goalkeeper Vincent Vanasch busy. India’s goal scorer Qureshi took two back-to-back shots on goal but Vanasch was up to the challenge as he denied any further lead. The first quarter however ended with Belgium equalizing the score with Amaury Keusters converting a field goal in the 9th minute.Though India rallied together to gain better ball possession and circle entries, Belgium pushed India back with strong goalkeeping. The second quarter saw both teams trade penalty corners, while Belgium found success through Loick Luypaert converting in the 21st minute, India’s attempt was brilliantly saved by the Belgian goalkeeper. In the 30th minute Cedric Charlier took Belgium’s lead to a strong 3-1 with a field goal.The third quarter saw India come close to converting a field goal but Sumit narrowly missed a deflection off Mandeep. While the final quarter saw India press hard in the midfield which stalled Belgium from entering the attacking zone, Indian attackers Mandeep Singh, Qureshi and Ramandeep Singh’s attempts paid no dividends as the Belgian goalkeeping continued to be valiant ensuring Belgium prevailed in the second match 3-1.The Indian Men’s Hockey team will now take on World No.4 The Netherlands on August 13 in Waalwijk, Netherlands.