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Friday 17 June 2011 | Published in Regional


The standard of rugby and rugby coaching in the Cook Islands is set to improve as International Rugby Board (IRB) coach trainer Brian OShea is committed to lifting the standard of local players and coaches.

OShea, 73, has over 50 years of rugby experience under his belt and has been instrumental in setting up coaching academies throughout Australia. Over the past 6 years he has spent most of his time assisting Samoa Rugby Union.

OShea, who is based in Australia, says his main role for IRB is improving the standard of rugby and coaching across the Pacific.

He spent the past week on Rarotonga running courses with local coaches as well as a Level 1 coaching course with the Cook Islands Sports Academy students.

Theres a lot of talent here in the Cooks but its too early to tell yet if what Ive shared has made an impact, says OShea. Im committed to the Cooks for an unlimited time and I will be back in August to build on what Ive started.

OShea ran a specialised scrum and lineout workshop while on Rarotonga because he says that there has been a lot of emphasis on these set pieces in the sevens format of the game to the extent that the standard of these aspects of the game in the 15s format has suffered.

OShea retired years ago but says that he continues to share his knowledge of rugby because he loves the sport an important aspect for any coach.

I certainly dont do it for the money but because I love the game and it keeps me from dying.

He says a good coach in any sport must have attention to detail.

They need to be able to understand the fine details, analyse what players are doing wrong, why they made that mistake and work out the solution to the problem. It can be as simple as the player pointing his foot in the wrong direction.