Is there a coach in another sport who you admire and look at what they do which could work in rugby?
I look at a lot of sports, I look at Guardiola at Man City. When you listen to some of the conversations in his interviews, with the types of people he’s working with and the environment they create. I look at the rugby league coach from Australia Wayne Bennett too, how has he survived so long in the game, with one club the Brisbane Broncos.
And then obviously just in rugby you’ve got the All Blacks. They are the number one team in the world at the moment, one of the best sports teams in the world, so you have a good look and pick up quite a bit from what these boys say in their interviews. A lot of it makes a heck of a lot of sense when you’re coaching yourself.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned in coaching?
I’d say, not to think you know it all. The moment you think you know it all, it’s probably time to move on and give someone else a go. Also you have to listen to people.
Who is the hardest trainer at the Scarlets?
I’m pleased to say a lot of the boys train very, very hard. If you looked at guys coming back from injury, I think that Jonathan Davies with that foot injury he sustained in the Test against Australia, it was a nasty, nasty injury. The guy has worked so hard on the other parts of his body to get them in top shape. I would struggle to say I’ve seen someone train harder than Jonathan Davies, he’s right up there, but we’ve got a number of them.
Who in the squad could you see being a coach down the line?
Of last year’s squad, definitely John Barclay. 100 percent, a defence coach, it was like having a coach on the field. His vision and understanding of defence, his timing and communication, not just with his teammates and the referee. I think he’s going to be an excellent coach going forwards. John is excellent.
If you were playing, is there anyone in the Guinness PRO14 that you would relish facing?
Playing, not coaching? The problem is the way I would play, I’d get sent off because you can’t do what I would do anymore. I wouldn’t be able to get away with it. Playing old rules, the players of today would have a bit of a laugh.
In the changing rooms we love it as coaches, the mind can still play but the body can’t follow. It’s a totally different era, and I enjoyed playing in the era I did play in. You’ve got to be a lot bigger, fitter and faster and the collisions are massive, so I’m quite happy sitting on the sidelines.
Finally, if it’s not the Scarlets, who will win the Guinness PRO14 this year?
You can’t really look past Leinster. They have such a lot of talent there, a very good coaching group and just a very good set-up there. A betting man would have to go with Leinster and the dark horse outside last year’s top four is probably Edinburgh, we only pipped them to a home quarter by one point, so they had a very good season.