Shaun Edwards’ intensity is already having a massive impact at London Irish this season.
He’s a world-class coach and his approach is really rubbing off on the players.
He was a ruthless defender as a player, and he’s got that same aura as a coach.
He is meticulous with the techniques and systems he sets in place for us.
But a large part of defending revolves around mindset.
That ruthless approach that Shaun takes, it really helps get you fired up: it gets you in the right state of mind to smash people!
The willingness to get off the line to go and hit someone, or clean out a ruck, he brings out the best in players.
While he might come across as intimidating from the outside looking in, the reality isn’t like that really.
Of course we’re in an unforgiving sport and so coaches have to be uncompromising – but he is extremely shrewd, very knowledgeable and he really knows how to get the best out of players.
And I think as things move forward we’ll continue to reap the benefits of working with him.
Maybe people expected us to hit the ground running this season because Brian Smith had returned to the club.
But even though he had been here before, he was of course coming back to an entirely different set-up, of players and coaches.
Although we didn’t start the way we wanted, I think we’ve settled in quite well now.
So hopefully we can move things forward quite quickly.
I was able to get back playing last week, after four to five weeks out with strained knee ligaments.
I only missed two or three games through injury in the whole of last season, so to miss a month in one go was a bit strange.
But it’s great to be back and hopefully I can make up for some lost time now.
We’ve got a seriously tough game against Exeter today and it’s the start of an important month.
You can find out about tickets for todays London Irish game here.