July 15, 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.
Peter Breen is the founder of Rugby Bricks and the coach of Australia Wallaroos. Peter was also a fly-half for Otago in his playing days. Rugby Bricks is one of the leading online coaching platforms in the world and specializes in skill development. Peter regularly works with some of the most recognizable names in rugby, including All Blacks and Highlanders scrum-half Aaron Smith, Wallabies and Rebels Matt Toomua. Peter also has is own kicking tee range that are used by professionals all over the world.
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 Peter Breen. Peter represented Otago at Fly Half and is a founder of Rugby Bricks, an online coaching platform specializing in skill development. Peter also has a kicking tee range used by some of the biggest names in the sport, including Wallabies and Melbourne Rebels star Matt Toomua.
Peter, welcome to the podcast.
Peter Breen: Thanks, Craig. I’m a big fan of podcasts and it’s, yeah, absolute pleasure to be on yours, so thanks for having me.
Craig: Yeah. It’s a pleasure, mate. And look, you’ve created a great following that has really shaped thousands in our rugby community, and I would love for you to share some of the wisdom that you give on a daily basis. So, with that, I would like to dive a little bit deeper into the kicking process, an area I know you’re really passionate about. So, first of all, why is open field kicking an essential tool for a modern player, and what are the main areas to focus on to improve accuracy?
Peter Breen: It’s obviously a massive passion of mine, and watching Super Rugby here in New Zealand, luckily it’s kicked off straightaway. It’s been amazing seeing some of the kicking game being used, and I’ll probably use the example of the Crusaders and I’ll come back to that. So, defense coaches in the current game are spending so much time in their week looking how to cover kicks, and I think gone are the days of just having a number team that sits in the pocket and kicks. So, having a full back line that can execute kicks and find spaces is a real weapon, because with one coach spending their whole week trying to work out how to diffuse a kicking game, if you’ve just got one bloke kicking, then it’s really easy to stop.
So, in the round three game I think it was, the Crusaders played the Chiefs, and by halftime, every player on the back line had kicked the ball, and they were all really effective kicks that found space and put pressure on. So, I guess that really showed me that how the game’s changing and the opportunities and the abilities for players to see space, find space, and put the ball there with a really good kicking game and put the pressure back on the other team.
And the other part of that is I guess is selection, so quite often coaches are trying to pick teams and pick squads, and if it comes down to it, player against player, and one player’s got a kicking game in their bag that they know that they can use, and it might affect selection with position. What better tool to have in your tool bag to have a kicking game? And there’s no reason that you can’t.
And I suppose that part of it is improving your accuracy, so for me, with any of my coaching, I always start with muscle memory. We’ve gotta teach the body the position we want to get into, so through the Rugby Bricks site, you’ll be able to see a lot of the body training drills that we get players to get through before even getting the ball in hand. So, it’s the place that I start, and then just a lot of touches, touching the rugby ball as much as you can in a week, and not doing massive long sessions, but just getting out on the training field five times a week and working on your kicking game is how to improve it.
Craig Wilson: Awesome, mate. I love that insight and the cat and mouse of the coaching teams between the attack and defense. Really love that insight. What we’ll do, I’ll make sure those links are available to the Rugby Bricks website. Wonderful resource for players, for coaches, for teams, so check that out. Peter, love your work. Thanks for coming on, mate, and all the best with what you’re up to.
Peter Breen: Awesome. Thanks so much for having me on.
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