Some of you may have read a book called "Winning starts on Monday", a book of quotes put together by the late Jack Gibson. Gibson is probably the Godfather of rugby league coaching, and one of the most charismatic men I have ever spent time with.
He starts the book by saying: "Winning starts on Monday, not 10 minutes before the game. It is confidence all week long, and it is confidence for the month before that; people can't get motivated on a five-minute speech before they run out onto the pitch. It is something that you have to wake up with - knowing that your preparation was right."
Well, I hope that the England squad have had a week's preparation that has been enjoyable and educative. Steve McNamara is trying to build a club-like feel to the England camp but one that lets the players know that they are part of an elite group of men. The team has access to world-class facilities and have an excellent team of people around them to ensure that their physical condition is as good as it can be.
In a week in which Queensland attempt to continue their domination of the State of Origin in Australia, we will also get a chance to see our best players on show at Langtree Park.
It's a soft target I suppose, and the coach will always pick the team he thinks have the best chance of winning, but I'd be prepared to lose in 2012 if it helped us to win in 2013.
Quotes of the week
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Much has been said and written about the four key players for the Maroons over the last six years. Their fullback, stand-off, scrum-half and hooker have been the foundations of their success.
It will be interesting to see which four players are given the key roles for England in 2012. If everybody is fit and healthy, I think we'll see Sam Tomkins at fullback and James Roby at hooker, but what about the six and seven?
In last year's game against the Exiles, England selected Kevin Sinfield and Richard Myler, but by the end of the season, Myler was replaced by Rangi Chase. Will we get more changes this year?
One of the criticisms of the New South Wales side over the last six years is that they have chopped and changed their players too often. It's a soft target I suppose, and the coach will always pick the team he thinks have the best chance of winning, but I'd be prepared to lose in 2012 if it helped us to win in 2013.
Whoever Steve McNamara picks, I wish them all the best. I know how hard it is and just how desperate England are to do well. I hope that there is a great crowd there to support their efforts.
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Who? Me? says...
@David Melling - Typical Wigan fan! Guess you think Oloughlin in the England squad is great too... Give it a break. Roby is by far the best Hooker we have to offer. Wow, Micky played in a team that beat Saints 3 times. And?
Posted 12:46 14th June 2012
Clive Medlock says...
ust sat through 12 minutes of statistics and statistics with a bit of data thrown in for good measure. I waited patiently whilst clarke went over every blade of grass that wigan played. I waited patiently whilst clarke went on and on about wire had sin binned and etc etc, etc z zz zzz zzzz I waited patiently while clarke went on about saints nilling the bank dodgers. I waited patiently while clarke gave london a fair crack of the whip. I waited patiently while clarke was less than generous about cas beating salford Then our turn "Great wins for Wakefield and Hull KR and a rest for many Super League players'' That was it. No mention of a 20 point haul back No mention of a decent crowd (1000) up on last year. ANNOYED or what
Posted 22:58 13th June 2012
David Melling says...
Hi Steve, What do you think of the omission of Mick McIlorum? I can help but feel he's been by far and away the best hooker this year but hasn't even been out in the knights squad. I'm not saying Roby hasn't been good, he has, but I reckon Mick has outplayed him in all three games against Saints this year. With the selection of so many underperforming Leeds boys I can't help but think a few of the lads have been picked on reputation rather than form for this latest England squad.
Posted 14:06 13th June 2012
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