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Bruce_ma gooshvili

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Dick Muir appointed Russian head coach.


He was an assistant coach with the Springboks and led the Sharks to a Super Rugby runners up spot, but hasn't been part of a coaching team since 2011. Since then he has been focussed on training and developing coaches. In July this year he was actually quoted as having no desire to return to head coaching, but the suggestion is he will almost be a Director of Rugby, with responsibility for the u18s and u20s and will work closely with the Premier League to improve standards (which his background is perfect for). I imagine this will increase the chances of Russian participation in the South African Toyota Challenge next November (if it materialises).

He has also reportedly relocated to Russia so seems to be taking it very seriously. Despite how much the game has changed since 2011 I consider this a major upgrade for Russian rugby and has potential to throw some grenades into next years RWCQ process in the REC, although surely getting Russia up from 5th to 3rd (to enter the RWCQ repechage) will be too hard in such a short timescale and the focus will be 2027? Still, I'd consider him to have the potential to be the best coach in the REC and at 56 years old, he is just about young enough to have some fire in his belly. Time to get excited @Yulia ? :p
 

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@Bruce_ma_goosevili sounds positive, but peeps in comments are not excited at all :D (though comments are generally crazy there). Hmm, I don't know..our team definitely needs changements , but I don't really know Muir as a coach tbf. Although he was an assistant coach of Springboks.. maybe will make some miracle
P.S. I often read Rugger Info btw, didn't know that you understand Russian language, Bruce :p
 

Bruce_ma gooshvili

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@Bruce_ma_goosevili sounds positive, but peeps in comments are not excited at all :D (though comments are generally crazy there). Hmm, I don't know..our team definitely needs changements , but I don't really know Muir as a coach tbf. Although he was an assistant coach of Springboks.. maybe will make some miracle
P.S. I often read Rugger Info btw, didn't know that you understand Russian language, Bruce :p
I understand Google Translate! But rely on people throwing links under my nose ( ;) ) as the Russian alphabet is unreadable to me! For example, I assume your Avatar is CSKA Moscow (UCKA) and that is about the limit of my ability.

Muir sounds like a Conor O'Shea character when he started with Italy except Muir has a better pedigree at the top level (and some Italian fans think credit for the improvement in Italy u20s lies elsewhere). If I was a promising young Russian coach like Alexander Yanyushkin at Penza (who has already coached a winning Russian side in Georgia), I would be welcoming such input if the language barrier can be overcome. Muir may help me develop as a coach, to help me improve my team and ultimately may make me qualified to lead Russia in the future.

Generally, I do not favour the appointment of anglophone coaches for the sake of it or the assumption that for rugby, anglophone = better. For example, I prefer Georgia having Levan Maisashvili to Milton Haig (whose track record was incomparably inferior to Muir's and simply could not get anything productive out of the Georgian backs). But when someone has been a runner up in what was THE top flight club tournament and is an expert in developing coaching talent then I think they have plenty pedigree to improve a Tier2 nation on and off the pitch.

I do think Russia have missed a trick not trying to capture some of the South Africans on residency against Chile (if any of them had 3 year residency) as this would have helped Muir transition the side over to the next generation. As I say though, I won't expect much improvement before 2024 and the second Chile test showed that younger Russian players need a lot of assistance.

I'm not sure who Russian fans would have preferred as coach. A return to Pervukhin or a very early gamble on Yanyushkin would be about the only credible alternatives I could think of?
 

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I'm not sure who Russian fans would have preferred as coach. A return to Pervukhin or a very early gamble on Yanyushkin would be about the only credible alternatives I could think of?
Well,in comments there are some dreams about Wayne Pivac (who wouldn't agree to coach our team, unfortunately) :D :D
Pervukhin is also a great option,imo. Can't say anything about other alternatives.. personally, I'd choose the best international coaches,even anglophones,but again they won't agree with it :D :D
As far as I understood, Lyn Jones' tactics was to get younger talents (and replace older players) but as you said :

younger Russian players need a lot of assistance.


I assume your Avatar is CSKA Moscow
Yes, CSKA :) I don't really have a preference in our teams, but I like Enisei (our best level team) and CSKA now because it's a Moscow club, there's my favourite player Vasily Artemyev and I liked a football team CSKA many years ago :D :D


Russian alphabet is unreadable to me
Cyrillic is not that complicated actually, you see you even understood my avatar :)
 

Bruce_ma gooshvili

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Well,in comments there are some dreams about Wayne Pivac (who wouldn't agree to coach our team, unfortunately) :D :D
Pervukhin is also a great option,imo. Can't say anything about other alternatives.. personally, I'd choose the best international coaches,even anglophones,but again they won't agree with it :D :D
As far as I understood, Lyn Jones' tactics was to get younger talents (and replace older players) but as you said :





Yes, CSKA :) I don't really have a preference in our teams, but I like Enisei (our best level team) and CSKA now because it's a Moscow club, there's my favourite player Vasily Artemyev and I liked a football team CSKA many years ago :D :D



Cyrillic is not that complicated actually, you see you even understood my avatar :)
I love Matsushima, one of my favourite players. But whoever made that the photo in Artemyev's wikipedia page is trolling him. Its just the back of his head, it could be anyone in a 15 jersey.

I am now a Penza fanboy for the Russian league having seen them fight so hard in the RESC. If they can get some squad depth I expect big things of them. I also like Mettalurg because I have never seen a team have to play in thunderstorms and swamps so much. That is called dedication!

And I am sorry, but I must forever give up on an alphabet that converts the letters USSR into CCCP. That shouldn't even be possible. :(
 

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I love Matsushima, one of my favourite players. But whoever made that the photo in Artemyev's wikipedia page is trolling him. Its just the back of his head, it could be anyone in a 15 jersey
Yeah, crazy photo,I know :D :D
Metallurg is also interesting, I'm not Vladimir (who created this thread) and don't know that much about Russian rugby like him so can't say a lot about Penza or Metallurg unfortunately :oops: :oops:

And I am sorry, but I must forever give up on an alphabet that converts the letters USSR into CCCP. That shouldn't even be possible.
A bit of offtop : letter C can give only an "s" sound in Russian and stands for Soyuz (Union, Союз- С) Sovietskih (of Soviet, Советских - С) Sotsialisticheskih (Socialist plural, Социалистических - С), and letter P reads like "r" in Russian, stands for the word respublik/respubliki in this abbreviation (republics, Республик - Р). That's why СССР= USSR :) So, RU=Rugby Union will be SR=Soyuz Rugby, for example
 

Bruce_ma gooshvili

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As reported in the transfer thread a CSKA player has returned to England.

https://www.therugbyforum.com/threads/2021-2022-transfers.38558/post-1067906

More context.

Have just read about it! Didn't expect he'll move back to the UK during pandemic.. interesting
Article in Russian if there are Russian-speaking posters here:

 

Bruce_ma gooshvili

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A bit of an unusual interview with Russia and Gloucester's Kirill Gotovtsev.

 

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A bit of an unusual interview with Russia and Gloucester's Kirill Gotovtsev.

Great interview, didn't follow Kirill's career but saw quite a lot of comments from other people who were interested how he is doing in the UK. Very glad for him! And understand his situation, I lived even in a smaller village in the south Siberia than his Boguchany, life is really difficult there :(
 

Bruce_ma gooshvili

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Great interview, didn't follow Kirill's career but saw quite a lot of comments from other people who were interested how he is doing in the UK. Very glad for him! And understand his situation, I lived even in a smaller village in the south Siberia than his Boguchany, life is really difficult there :(
Oh dear. I know the speed of the collapse of the USSR created issues (such as senior KGB staff and future president being a taxi driver) but I was hoping Kirill was maybe making some energetic exaggerations about life in a remote Siberian village in the mid-90s being quite so bleak.
 

Bruce_ma gooshvili

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Russia possibly spending decent money on a scrum coach and 7s coach, both with Springbok coaching experience.


I am very sceptical about the ability of a good scrum coach to gain advantage over an average scrum coach at the international/professional level. So I'm not expecting Russia to suddenly boss Romania and Spain at scrum time.

I don't personally detect big variations in scrum performance with national sides when coaches change. Scrum performance seems to change more when players change (as can be seen within an individual match), particularly if there is a shift from focussing on front row forwards who have brute strength to those with more mobility and/or good hands.
 

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@Bruce_ma_goosevili they're improving their tackle techniques like that. Or at least that's what written :p I know some rugby players who went to rugby from wrestling.. maybe it's a bit similar, somehow :D although I can't guess how
 

Bruce_ma gooshvili

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Hmm, well I remember Uruguayan scrum half Arata getting a red card for literally suplexing a player (not bad for a wee scrum half), and eye gouging used to be a common rugby move. Hopefully this isn't what Russia is aiming for :p

Seriously though, I can the physical aspects of a wrestler being superb for back row forward, aiming to rip the ball out of the opponents hands at the breakdown. It's all a bit irrelevant though if they can't pass and catch a ball well though. Can't hurt to rub shoulders with other sports and see if any ideas can be borrowed.
 

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An interview with former Russia head coach Lyn Jones. Comparing Russia to the scene in Wales at the dawn of professionalism with the clubs having a power and independence that makes it harder to coach a national team. If accurate, hopefully Dick Muir's position will have the authority to make changes in this regard.

 

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An interview with former Russia head coach Lyn Jones. Comparing Russia to the scene in Wales at the dawn of professionalism with the clubs having a power and independence that makes it harder to coach a national team. If accurate, hopefully Dick Muir's position will have the authority to make changes in this regard.

Jesus, poor man!!! I didn't know he had a prostate cancer, that sounds terrible. But thankfully everything is ok now,as far as I understood. Good health to him!

Some interesting quotes from this article:
“We were the oldest team at the 2019 World Cup and we needed to modernise and refresh.
“Covid has really held things back. You had games called off, players not available.
We just haven’t had time, we haven’t had games. It’s been so frustrating.
They are going to have to bite the bullet at some stage and people are going to have to start putting the country first in front of their clubs
Everybody wants Russia to win, but the clubs come first and that’s got to change.
Hmm. Yes, that was the main strategy: to make a national team "younger". And some people think that it was a wrong strategy,but Jones thinks the problem was in Covid and in the fact that,in Russia, club rugby is more important than the national team..I didn't see it from that perspective but the last point is interesting.
. Same article but translated for Russian-speaking fans https://rugger.info/news/45750

A current head coach Dick Muir has a bit different opinion on what should be the way of development of the rugby in Russia.
From a Russian article:
- One of the principles of the previous coach,Lyn Jones, was to rejuvenate the team..
- It doesn't play a big role for me. I'm sure,the age comes second. Someone matures in rugby at the age of 25, and other reaches his peak form at the age of 30. Why do we have to cut them off the squad? You need to look at the advantage the player brings at the moment.
We will create a signature style for the Russian national team and will develop rugby in the country
He also thinks that "naturalization of foreigners" is "one of the ways to develop the team" and is actually a good way, but "unfortunately it's not easy to attract top rugby players to play for your team".
The whole article in Russian is under this link if someone's interested:


We'll judge by "result" (by the level of the Russian national team in a couple of years,I think) , but as I understood from his and Lyn Jones words, both don't see Russia in a good form till 2023, and (again, if I understood correctly) Muir counts more on the next RWC after the 2023 one:
Qualification for the World cup is still possible. If we all work together and in the same spirit, we'll be able to qualify for the tournament,but that's not my long-term goal
 
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Bruce_ma gooshvili

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Yes, credit to Lyn Jones for fulfilling his obligations to Russia through a difficult time. Thanks for the interview with Muir, interesting reading. I'm glad to see he is actually using some Russian coaches initially rather than wholesale importation of South Africans. It is clear when watching Penza that their coach Yanyushkin is a capable man. Still in his thirties, so with much upward potential and his presence will assist in bridging the language gap (not all Russians are fluent in 4 languages I'm sure!).

I can't really comment on the project or otherwise of cutting off older players from the Russian national. It is normal for an outgoing coach to make excuses and an incoming one to say that their new ideas are better. I know Jones put out a young side in the second Chile test and many of those players did not look ready yet. But I wasn't aware of any of his other selections being young and experimental?

It is normal for a Tier2 side, when eliminated from RWC qualification, to focus instead on players who will still be young enough in 4 years time for the next RWC. But Russia have not been eliminated so should absolutely be picking the strongest 23 next month and that sounds like what Muir will do. I would say there is nothing in the interview to suggest Muir won't stil prioritise youth development, only that he won't show older players the door. He is clearly aiming for 2027 and I think youth development will be a major focus.

In terms of naturalisations I understand from another article on Rugger thaf Russia are hoping to capture 6 or so players from former USSR territories but that World Rugby have still to decide on whether this is permitted. With the 5 year residency rule I don't think naturalisation of overseas Premier League players will be sustainable long term, but it makes sense to use what resources they can as they hopefully transition to improved youth development.

He is realistic on 2023. It is a long shot with a very difficult first match in Bucharest. Even a loss there is not fatal. Like you say, I would not judge Muir this year. Maybe by the REC 2024 we will know if he is improving things at all levels. I remain optimistic.
 

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