Respected Rowntree Ahead Of His Time As England Coach

Respected Rowntree Ahead Of His Time As England Coach

There is a fair bit of uncertainly surrounding how England will do at the upcoming Six Nations with the unsettling events that have happened since the end of the World Cup only just behind them.

But one thing I am sure of is that my old Leicester Tigers team mate, Graham Rowntree will go on to be a big success as part of the three-man interim coaching panel with Stuart Lancaster and Andy Farrell.

Having worked with the national side for several years now, it was interesting that amidst all of the damning reports that were leaked to the press from the players World Cup questionnaires a few months ago, Graham was the only one to come out of that with glowing references across the board.

I was not surprised by that because lots of people I speak to say that he is ahead of his time as a coach.

The individual effort he puts in is tremendous and, unsurprisingly for anyone that has ever met him, he goes about his job with no airs or graces.

Graham or 'Wig' as he is better known, spends hours and hours of his time looking at loads of different players to make sure that England have the right people involved.

All of the boys appreciate that time he puts in and say that his attention to detail is always noticeable.

He has empathy with the players and you could tell when he first started out that he had the makings of a great coach.

The forwards who work with him hold him in a very high regard and the amount of respect that the guys have for him is amazing because he puts both time and effort into developing individual relationships with the players he works with.

He talks to them on their level and they appreciate that.

One of things that really impresses me about him is his willingness to learn more and keep on developing as a coach.

Graham was a great scrummager in his day as a loose head prop but he knows that the game develops quickly these days and he puts himself out there to make sure that he is always aware of new ideas and interpretations.

In a similar way to the likes of Toby Booth at London Irish and Bryan Redpath at Gloucester, Graham has only really just come out of the game and he knows professional rugby very well.

So, while it may be difficult to predict just how well what I think will be a young England side do as defending Six Nations champions, I am pretty sure that Graham’s stock will only continue to rise and that is good news for the team and its future.

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