Filed under: Dan Cottrell, Rugby Team Management | Tags: Dan Carter, injuries, rugby talent, selection
When Dan Carter returned to All Black colours a couple of weeks ago, he made a difference. A big difference.
If you are wholly concerned with results, you know you want your best players on the field to win your games. Imagine South Africa without Montgomery, Smit and Matfield in 2007, or England without Wilkinson, Johnson and Hill in 2003.
Carter was injured in the French domestic season and was not fit until after the All Blacks returned empty handed from South Africa. Whatever the talent in New Zealand, he adds something extra. For the sake of the All Blacks, he needs to be fit.
But he can’t play all the time and he certainly cannot be played when he is half fit. Hence, a dilemma.
Last night I watched my local team limber up for their first match of the league season. I know they have a couple of key players back and training. If they stay fit, then who knows. Last season, close games slipped away in their absence. What can the coach do? Give them some weeks off to keep them fresh and injury free – madness perhaps.
I would contend that the bravest coach rotates for a long term campaign. He keeps more players interested and makes it easier to fill in the gaps when there are genuine injuries. Only at the end of the season does he go for broke. However it might be too late by then…it makes for an interesting strategy.
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