Sunday, April 01, 2007

Robin Brooke pitches in to help AB lineout

August 8, 2006

As reported here last week, former All Black prop and current New Zealand Herald columnist John Drake prescribed a remedy for the All Blacks line-out woes.

And so, to the “must do better” categories and primarily the lineouts.

I’m sick of hearing that these are a work in progress. Whereas Australia may have allowed scrums to be a place of neglect, maybe we have done the same for lineouts.

The All Blacks need to bring in a specialist, the way they used Mike Cron for scrums. Cron’s obsession allowed him to turn a hobby into a job, but I’m struggling to find a person of similar calibre for the lineouts.

Maybe Robin Brooke is the man, a recent enough All Black to know the ins and outs of the modern game but sufficiently removed to get a clear view and make changes. I feel that Steve Hansen and co may have got too close to things to find an answer.

Robin Brooke responded, saying time constraints would rule him out. He confirmed that he had previously declined the offer of a NZRU retainer to work with the country's best lineout talent, but said he was open to helping out in some capacity, particularly in the run-up to the World Cup.

"I'd be flattered if I was asked to help, I'd give my eye tooth, it would be a pleasure to," he said. "At the moment I've just opened a new business and it's taking a huge amount of time, but it's not to say in the future I can't give a little bit back."

Brooke opened a supermarket he owns and operates in Gate Pa, Tauranga.

News reports today confirm Brooke has accepted the position on a temporary basis:

All Blacks call in lineout specialist

4.10pm Tuesday August 8, 2006

The All Blacks have called in lineout specialist Robin Brooke to help sort out the troubled area ahead of next week's Tri-Nations test against the Wallabies.

The former All Black lock joined the squad in Christchurch at training today.

Coach Graham Henry said he was delighted to be able to call on Brooke's services again. They did the same early in 2004.

Henry insists Brooke will not be a permanent member of the coaching staff and that he is only there for the current camp, though his expertise may occasionally be asked for again.

Wing Sitiveni Sivivatu has also been brought into the training camp this week, while Canterbury halfback Andy Ellis is in as cover for the injured Piri Weepu and Jimmy Cowan.

- NEWSTALK ZB (via New Zealand Herald)


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