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“We will spend a considerable amount of time working on our continuity and defense systems and stress testing the players within the system,” said O’Sullivan ominously. Basically he wants to get the players working once tired, and then run them some more and see how they stick to the system.
It’s a response to a classic USA problem – everybody looks a part of a well-oiled machine early, but as time moves on and fatigue settles in, the system breaks down. O’Sullivan wants players who will stick to it.
“It is a very informative mechanism when assessing a player’s capacity to operate at test level,” O’Sullivan said.
As Head Coach O’Sullivan runs the entire camp, but assistants run various session segments, with O’Sullivan observing from nearby, or supporting as if he is the assistant to whomever is running the segment. Players will be put into different combinations, especially around set pieces, and since O’Sullivan is looking for depth, he wants to see players who can play several positions. After each day, the filmed sessions are reviewed and players given feedback.
There’s a lot of work to be done in a short period of time, and O’Sullivan has made it a little harder for him and his staff by bringing in several players completely new his way of working.
“Primarily I want to see if the new players can take information on board quickly, operate within our systems and execute at the levels required for test rugby,” O’Sullivan explained.
The Coach told RUGBYMag.com Premier that all the players invited were asked to the camp with an eye toward the Churchill Cup and the World Cup. No one was brought in for the future; they are all here for right now.