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Why defence does not begin or end with a line-break

One of the main measures of the effectiveness of your defence, was simply to count the number of times the opposition broke your line when they had the ball in hand.

Although that remains a useful statistic, it is no longer the be-all and end-all of defensive measurement. What happens after a line break has been made is equally important as Analyst Nick Bishop details in his latest article.

How to use ‘joined-up thinking’ in your game-plan

How do you find a clear plan of action on a rugby field? Analyst Nick Bishop in his latest article outlines the ‘thinking’ and ‘factors’ to create a successful ‘Joined Up’ game plan.

Innovate or die? Rugby's continued quest to stay relevant.

The pressure on English rugby, and the game in general, to adapt and ensure the long-term success of the sport is evident in two innovations that are set to debut next season. Writer Graham Jenkins looks at these innovations and their possible positive effect on the game and its continued evolution.

Is it time for Ardie Savea to start for the All Blacks?

Will the All Black selectors follow Wales coach Warren Gatland’s very successful approach and field 2 No 7s in the loose forwards? Nick Bishop analyses Ardie Savea’s recent development and claim for inclusion in the ABs starting XV.

How to mix backs and forwards at the set-piece!

Backs can help the forwards in the tasks that used to belong solely to the pack – but only if they understand what their roles are and how best to apply their power. Analyst Nick Bishop investigate how that overlapping understanding is evident at the driving maul.

Coaches should embrace ‘half game rule’ challenge

From the start of next season, all match day squad players at every level of youth, junior and minis rugby, from ages 6 to 18, must play at least half a game. A policy that has been in place in NZ and Wales for some years. Graham backgrounds the rationale behind the move and the impact on coaches.

How to find mismatches against the single-line defence

Arguably the biggest change in Rugby’s professional era occurred when the game started to import defensive coaches from League. Analyst Nick Bishop looks at how modern professional sides are looking to break through increasingly tighter rugby league style defences.

Is it time the Six Nations packed down behind the Nations Championship concept?

World Rugby’s plan for a ground-breaking annual Nations Championship uniting both hemispheres appeared to have little support when revealed last month but is it actually a concept we should all be embracing? Writer Graham Jenkins looks at the merits of the plan.

How Warren Gatland won the preparation war in Cardiff

Warren Gatland’s knowledge of the game in the UK and Ireland is anything but one-sided. He has coached in Ireland, Wales and with Wasps in England and more importantly, he has coached on three consecutive British & Irish Lions tours. Analyst Nick Bishop details how that ‘inside knowledge’ gave him and Wales a priceless advantage against England in Cardiff.

Super Rugby 2019 Performance Preview

The Gainline Analytics team have taken their Cohesion and TWI markers to the Super Rugby competition starting this weekend. Simon and Ben have analysed how each team and conference is likely perform and why?

How to play the ‘libero’ like Faf de Klerk

The ‘libero’ is an evocative term in the Soccer vocabulary. It describes the free role played from a defensive position occupied by outstanding players like Germany’s Franz Beckenbauer, Ronald Koeman from the Netherlands, and Gaetano Scirea and Franco Baresi of Italy. Eventually the libero died out of the professional arm of the game with the demise of man-marking. However as Analyst Nick Bishop illustrates in the use of the scrum-half as the free man on defence have occurred recently in rugby through players like South African Faf de Klerk.

The Hidden Side of the 6 Nations

Our friends at Gainline Analytics have had close look at the prospects of this year’s 6 nations tournament. It has been a moving feast in Northern Hemisphere Rugby especially at club level. Club and Test do not act in isolation however these effects take time to manifest. GAIN LINE Analytics research into teams show some very clear correlations over the long term around this aspect. They have taken a look at the prospects of this years 6 nations sides and the effect of their club setup and the draw might have on their prospects.