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“We expect a certain level of competency,” Lawrence told RUGBYMag.com. “When a player comes into camp we expect him to be able to clear out a ruck. We’re not now going to be telling them how to tackle. We expect them to be able to execute that, because we’ve covered it before.”
The players will get some refreshers in the pattern and some calls, but the rest will be fine-tuning the team as a unit, and the timing.
“As long as I have been involved in rugby the forwards go off to practice the lineout, and the backs go off to practice their attack, but very little time is spent working on the timing from the throw-in, to the link with the scrumhalf, to the pass from the scrumhalf to the backs,” Lawrence explained.
Lawrence wants a team that has its timing down, because good timing makes for good execution.
If something isn’t going right, such as the lineout, he might leave it up to the players to sort it out.
“If something like that is holding everything up, it will be up to those players to find time to work on it together,” said Lawrence. “We feel they can take ownership of the problem-solving, but at the same time, it’s their responsibility.”
Lawrence said that approach works with this USA U20 team because the players have been studied, and he and other coaches concluded that is the best way to inspire them.
And finally, there’s the details.
“We want to cover every detail,” said Lawrence. “You have a player who’s a great athlete and then in a game seems kind of timid. Turns out, he doesn’t know where he’s supposed to go. We want to take that uncertainty out of it.”