London Irish have placed renewed emphasis on team discipline for their forthcoming campaign.
The club have had recurring problems with discipline over recent seasons. On his return, Director of Rugby Brian Smith quickly identified discipline as a key factor to be addressed and has placed it at the top of the list of the playing squad’s core values for the future.
During pre-season the squad has participated in three special events designed to improve player awareness on the subject.
Defence coach Shaun Edwards has worked with players on their tackling technique, giving special attention to those players who were identified as having flaws that required correcting.
During last month’s training camp in Winchester, the squad completed a ‘laws of the game’ referee exam designed by Clive Leek of the RFU. This was designed to ensure that players had an understanding and an appreciation of the laws and their application.
Earlier this week, His Honour Judge Jeff Blackett QC visited the club’s Sunbury training ground and spoke to the squad about the RFU’s disciplinary process, in particular the citing process and the rationale behind the various sanctions.
Commenting on the progress made to date, London Irish Director of Rugby, Brian Smith said: “These are three important steps we have taken to improve what has been an unsatisfactory disciplinary record. We are very happy with the progress to date and are confident of much improvement both in the short and long term as our programme unfolds.”