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    Gatland goes crazy

    <H1>Warren Gatland, all guns blazing</H1>
    Feb 24 2008 by Simon Roberts, Wales On Sunday


    WARREN GATLAND has taken a swipe at Welsh rugby’s star culture, accusing Welsh players of living in a cocoon.


    The new national coach has pulled no punches in a brutal assessment of Welsh rugby’s parochialism.


    He also believes Welsh players are pampered, over-hyped and over-paid, likening his new home’s insular attitude to that of his native New Zealand.


    And Gatland also slammed the hype surrounding Welsh rugby’s latest wunderkid, James Hook.


    Arguing that players in Wales are put on a pedestal too soon, without achieving anything, he points to Hook’s glaring penalty miss in the defeat to Fiji, which ended the World Cup campaign.


    “It’s hard here because you are a superstar and in a cocoon,” said Gatland. “You are put on a pedestal; but you have to remind yourself to keep your feet on the ground.


    “People are talking about James Hook being a superstar, well, you have to say: ‘James, remember the kick you missed against Fiji in the World Cup which cost us a quarter-final spot’.


    “We have to be level-headed about stuff like that.”


    Gatland’s latest remarks will touch a nerve with his Wales squad. He has already proved he is not afraid to publicly criticise his players since he took charge.


    And while he believes that Welsh players are more talented and skilful than English and Irish players and are on a par with anything he has seen in New Zealand, he has admitted Welsh players lack mental toughness and an uncompromising winning mentality.


    Gatland even believes Welsh players are over-paid.


    It’s hard to argue with his opinion when you think that the Ospreys signed Mike Phillips from the Blues on a £180,000-a-year deal in the summer.


    But for a coach banking in the region of £350,000-a-year claiming players are being overpaid is a bit, to say the least, rich.


    But Gatland clearly believes Welsh players have trouble dealing with all the attention.


    “These players, on average, get paid more than English players,” said Gatland.


    “That will surprise people. They are very highly paid and put on a pedestal and made to feel special and we have to keep them grounded.


    “We have to keep reminding them about working hard and working harder than other countries.”


    Gatland’s mantra about hard work, sacrifice and humility is aimed directly at professional players in Wales, but could easily be a broadside at a self-obsessed rugby culture.


    He is clearly astonished at how insular the Welsh rugby culture has become.


    “We have to be aware of what people think of us and are saying about us,” said Gatland.


    The New Zealander also warned that Welsh players don’t have a great reputation out in the rugby world.


    “If we have players selected to go on tour with the Lions next year, I don’t know if they are aware of what people think about them,” said Gatland.


    “I don’t know if they are aware of what the other countries think about Welsh players.


    “Do they know what they think about them as tourists? Or what they think about your reaction when you don’t get selected?


    “You have to be aware of that and then you can change those habits.”


    Gatland, though, doesn’t believe Wales is the only country too parochial about rugby.


    He points to New Zealand, another country where the oval ball is the national game, suffering from the same inflated idea of itself.


    “New Zealand is very similar,” said Gatland. “Like Scott Johnson (former Wales skills coach) said, we are just a couple of poxy islands i

    #2
    This is a year old, how is it relevant now???

    Comment


      #3

      Originally posted by franman
      This is a year old, how is it relevant now???
      I think Toby saw it on PR without checking the date it was posted.

      Comment


        #4
        I searched for anything with Gatland in the name, this thread popped up...
        good interview here, lots of irish stuff after the 11 minute mark..

         
        He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck either, but a real duck that was actually lame. Maybe from stepping on a land mine or something.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by i_like_cake View Post
          I searched for anything with Gatland in the name, this thread popped up...
          good interview here, lots of irish stuff after the 11 minute mark..
          He gets in quite a muddle trying to explain that he knows about Irish history when Hamilton brings up the subject of the (spoof?) paramilitary letter.
          ​​​​​​#GiveLeinsterTheHCupNow

          Originally Posted by mr chips
          AG gets the responses he does because he is a journalist..

          Comment


            #6
            yea, he avoided certain words... fair play to him.... i respect him...
            He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck either, but a real duck that was actually lame. Maybe from stepping on a land mine or something.

            Comment


              #7
              Chiefs 0 for 3, so far....
              He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck either, but a real duck that was actually lame. Maybe from stepping on a land mine or something.

              Comment

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