Black Ferns attacking ethos inspiring other nations

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He said that rugby had become full of talk about defensive coaches while attack coaches appeared to have less influence and prestige.

"One glaring exception is Wayne Smith, but the New Zealander is in a bracket of his own because, as well as being a great attack coach, he is also a great all-rounder.

"It's my belief that the art of attack in the 15-man game has to be rediscovered.

"It is almost as if attack has been downgraded rather than elevated, and many of the coaches are too scared to speak out."

Guscott said when he played, Ian McGeechan and Brian Ashton were two influential attack coaches, but he had come across few like them in the two playing generations since the 1990s.

Defensive lines now dominated. They spread across the field. Slower forwards were closest to the breakdown, while faster forwards were out among the backs. As a result, the pitch was more congested, and space, the vital goal in attack, was at a premium.

"England need attack coaches who can educate and enthuse players to attack.

"Wayne Smith is definitely one of those, as he showed by transforming the New Zealand women's team that has just won another world title."

Among the coaches in England who could have something to offer was former All Blacks five-eighths Nick Evans.

"When he left New Zealand to join Harlequins, he soon proved that he was not only an outstanding fly-half but a very good footballer with decent pace.

"As Quins attack coach he has also had a strong impact, helping them to win a Premiership title and producing a style of play which has been good on the eye."

With former England lock Steve Borthwick touted as the coach most likely to replace Jones, Guscott believes he would do well to consult both Ashton and Wayne Smith about playing attacking rugby.

"I'd love the rugby media to be talking about attacking gurus rather than anything else. I hope the emphasis in the game shifts towards attack in the New Year, and that England are leading the way."


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