Things Got A Little Heated In Lions Training This Week
Lions assistant coach Rob Howley has promised what he calls ‘rugby chaos’ tomorrow as they take on the Blues in Auckland. Gatland’s men were disappointing in their opening fixture, with the Lions head coach putting it down to jetlag.
That excuse however, can only be used once and Howley has promised an expansive approach to the rest of the tour. The Lions have been working hard in training and are hugely motivated according to the former Wales and Lions scrumhalf.
“That’s the nature of the game, that’s rugby in the southern hemisphere,” Howley said.
“That’s how the majority of the international sides play, that’s from chaos, that’s from structure. The majority of the game now is from kick returns and turnovers and it’s the ability to react in those situations and to not get left behind, to be ahead of the game. That’s in terms of support lines and handling skills.”
“That’s something we’ve talked about with 15 v 15 (in training), we have a hugely motivated squad and that’s in terms of line-speed and Andy Farrell’s coaching us players to come off the line. We’re trying to put that match speed into training and we have a hugely competitive squad here and we did a drill yesterday, an offload drill and the contact was explosive.
“That’s the challenge for us, sometimes you have to sit back sometimes as they want to give everything in training and we have to make sure we’re smart with that There are different pictures over here, the way the game is and we’re trying to get up to speed with those pictures, hence the rugby chaos.”
“The players are enjoying it as the rugby chaos doesn’t go on for too long and it’s about intensity and the speed of the game and the speed of the decision-making and getting the ball to the wide channels.The more we practise it, obviously it’s in its infancy at the moment but the more we keep working and we’ll see improvement on Wednesday night.”
Howley also revealed that things have gotten a little heated in the full contact sessions.
“We were playing an offload drill and it got pretty heated,” he said.
“We’re mindful of injuries as well, but we are mindful of putting players under pressure as well. So there’s a fine balance as well but we went from a technical drill into open play and play what’s in front and suddenly it becomes a high competitive contact.
“We just had to be mindful of that.”