Olympic cycling coaches called in to mentor England rugby team

England hope to mimic Olympic cycling success in Six Nations

by Rebecca McIlhone   February 4, 2009  

Team GB

Britain’s gold medal-winning Olympic cycling team coaches have been giving tips to the England rugby team on the eve of their first Six Nations Championship match under Martin Johnson.

Olympic gold medalist Bradley Wiggins’ coach Matt Parker has given a presentation on rider development, including the importance of talking openly with coaches about doubts and misgivings, according to a story in The Guardian.

The story says GB Cycling’s performance director, Dave Brailsford and coach Steve Sutton will be in attendance at Saturday’s opening match against Italy at Twickenham, such is the Rugby Football Union’s desire to learn from the cycling success at the Olympics.

It’s not the first time cycling has had this influence. Forensic psychiatrist Steve Peters, who also played a central role in GB’s track success in Beijing, was apparently called upon by Brian Ashton to talk to players prior to the 2007 World Cup.