Welcome to Motley Crew RFC

Let’s meet Motley Crew RFC. They play in a decent league in the middle part of the country. They are a senior men’s team, but could equally be a school 1st XV, a university team or even a colts team.

Here’s a cross-section of the team.

Adi, 29, is the club captain. He used to play number 8, but has recently moved to the centre (12).
He's a Maths teacher at the local school.
Nicky, 32, has been at MCRFC since the colts. Started as out as tighthead prop (1), and still is.
He owns a local garage.
Tommy, 19 has just been promoted from the colts and mostly plays 9. Has been involved in the DPP programme with the nearby professional team.
He goes to college and studies sports studies.
Mick, 26, rejoined the club after being away at college. Switched from inside centre (12) to blindside flanker (6).
He works at the local leisure centre as a gym instructor.
Simon is 24 and is a winger. He started playing rugby after leaving school.
Formerly a 400m runner, he’s a trainee insurance broker.


Vince is the coach. He’s been with the club for nearly a decade. He played in the back row and to a good standard. He’s a Level 2 coach, though would like to do the Level 3 if he has time. While Tommy thinks Vince is about 50, Adi knows he’s actually 38.


While defensively they seem quite good, Motley Crew just doesn’t seem to score enough points in a game.

Vince has decided he needs to make a change. He also knows that he can’t do this without the support of the players. So, he asks the players about the attack plan.

The following answers sum up the general feeling amongst the team.

"We've got a plan. Let's get the ball wide. But, I don't think it matters because it depends on the day and the opposition."

"Haha. Plan! Push hard and then watch the backs drop the ball"

"Create quick ball from slow ball. Set up forwards off rucks if slow ball. Go wide from quick ball. And if the defence bite, go myself"

"Not sure I've heard of the plan. I know my role. Smash into the opposition and save Tommy when he gets isolated."

"The plan should be to give me the ball more often. I'm quick enough to beat most opposition wingers."

In summary, these answers show that many players in many teams…

  • Don’t know what a plan is
  • Don’t know they have a plan
  • Know one plan, but it is different to the others
  • Don’t when to implement the plan

Many teams will come up with a range of different answers to what seems a simple question.

Players have different understandings, or have received mixed messages, about what strategies/tactics to apply in different situations.

It is clear that Vince and the team will need to align their answers. But, he will need to ask better questions in the first place.

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