March 08, 2022 4 min read
July 06, 2020
Craig Wilson was born in England and is currently the men's and women's Head Coach at Yale University. Wilson was internationally capped for the Hong Kong National Team and has represented professional academies at Leicester Tigers and Northampton Saints. He has played in both the Scottish and Hong Kong premiership and coached the India National Team at both XV’s and sevens.
Kane is in a unique position as on a daily basis, he is responsible for finding and nurturing the best prospects within New Zealand and preparing those players for Super Rugby with Highlanders. Kane has worked in many high-performance environments, including Fiji 7s. Kane's has worked with some great coaches but two stand-out for him, Gareth Baber (Fiji 7s Head Coach) and Aaron Mauger (Highlanders Head Coach).
Rugby Wisdom Podcast
Craig Wilson:Thank you for tuning into Rugby Wisdom in 3 with me, Craig Wilson. This is the impactful podcast that does not impact your time. On today’s show, I’m joined by Kane Jury. Kane is a talent development manager for Super Rugby franchise Highlanders, and on a daily basis he nurtures New Zealand’s best prospects. Kane has also coached for some of the top high performing teams and players in the world, including Otago in the Mitre 10 Cup, Black Ferns sevens, Hong Kong sevens, and most recently Fiji sevens.
Kane, welcome to the podcast.
Kane Jury: Yeah, thanks for having me, mate. I’m glad to be on the number one podcast in the US.
Craig Wilson: I know. I think we’ve just hit number one in Switzerland, as well, so I appreciate that, buddy. Look, you’re in such a unique position to share your wisdom as you’ve quite literally coached skills for some of the best players around the world. So, through these experiences, why is mastering basic skills vital for success on the field?
Kane Jury: Yeah, look Craig. Rugby is a dynamic, multidirectional game, and the laws of the game, too, make it quite complicated. But to make it easier for everybody, performing the basic skills is absolutely key. I think at times, mate, we can get caught up overthinking and complicating coaching a skill. At the end of the day, we play the rugby ball, so we should really train and practice our basic skills with a rugby ball. We tackle bodies, so we should be doing exactly that. We clean out bodies. And I think that’s how simple we need to make our trainings, and even using and adding the analogies like you’ve used for the offload, shake the hand, that just really brings to life to use your words, Craig, that skill. I think that’s really important.
So, don’t overthink, don’t overcomplicate it. You can change a stimulus by all means, because that will just change their coordination and awareness, but just don’t forget, just keep it… Keep a rugby ball there. Keep the rugby bodies there too, as well. So, that’s really, really key. The other one, too, is just make sure we can put the skill under pressure, so at times we can be quite static in what we do. But make sure it’s under pressure, so give yourself limited reps to be accurate, or complete the skill in X amount of time, so have a think about that challenging yourself.
The other one, too, is just be happy to not quite finish your session nailing your skill. This keeps you motivated for the next session. Here at the Highlanders, we talk about embracing the ugly. So, it’s okay if you don’t execute it well, but know the right steps for the following day to be better at it. And if I was gonna try and pick what skill should I work on, I’d say watch 60 seconds of continuous running rugby, and then whatever the main skills were on an attack that you saw, well, practice those, and what the main skills you saw on defense, practice those too, mate.
So, there’s my little five cents worth, mate.
Craig Wilson: Awesome. I love that embrace the ugly, because sometimes we get caught up as coaches as trying to get the perfection in the session. Now, who has been a valuable resource for you?
Kane Jury: Yeah, look, really lucky to work with a lot of different coaches, Craig, and actually very similar to yourself, too back in Hong Kong. The last two that I’ve worked with and really admire is Gareth Baber with Fiji sevens, and also in Hong Kong when I was there, and yourself. And also, Aaron Major. Very similar guys. Astute rugby brains. They’re all about developing people, developing people at the organization.
Craig Wilson: Hey, look Kane. Really appreciate your time, mate. Keep up the good work. And yeah, thank you.
Kane Jury: All right, mate. Hope you stay number one in Switzerland.
Craig Wilson: Let’s do it, mate. Cheers.
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