The Herald - Sport - - RUGBY WORLD CUP -

To some ex­tent it is in­nate, and qual­ity coach­ing can hone it to a de­gree, but learn­ing to make cor­rect de­ci­sions un­der pres­sure is largely down to re­peated ex­po­sure to sit­u­a­tions where the art must be prac­tised, which is why play­ers from coun­tries with su­pe­rior sport­ing cul­tures have a huge com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tage. That is why, for Scot­tish rugby, the in­ter­ven­tion of Frank Had­den, the former Scot­land head coach, was so vi­tal if we are to have any chance of main­tain­ing our place in world rugby, let alone bridg­ing the gap to the elite. The sys­tem he in­tro­duced is far from per­fect but it is a start, al­beit its suc­cess also de­pends on how much lo­cal and na­tional politi­cians are pre­pared to do to im­prove the state school sport­ing en­vi­ron­ment.

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