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Matt Williams Uses Ireland v Australia In 1991 To Explain What 'Real Leadership' Is

Mark Farrelly
By Mark Farrelly
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We're all waiting with bated breath on what is undoubtedly the most mouthwatering clash of the World Cup to date as England take on Australia knowing that they need a win to keep their hopes of a knock-out place alive.

Can they get over the disappointment of last weekend?

Aussie/Irishman Matt Williams joined Denis Hickie and Emmett Byrne on our rugby podcast 'In From The Side' this week to discuss the fall-out of England v Wales and preview tonight's game.


Unsurprisingly, much of the conversation centred around those last couple of minutes from the Wales match and on the concept of what makes great 'leadership.'

Williams feels that Chris Robshaw a co. need look no further than the infamous World Cup quarter-final between Australia and Ireland to find an example. He tells the story:

Ireland score a try. There's three minutes on the clock and the leadership from Michael Lynagh has become legendary in Australian sport.

He got them behind the try line; didn't say 'Come one, let's try harder' or give them a rev up or blame them. He said 'We're guna kick deep, we're going to put pressure on their kicker. We're going to try and get a scrum or a line-out and then we're going to play this play.

He actually named the wrap-around play that they were going to play. And now it's history that they got a knock-on, they got a scrum and Lynagh scored himself in the corner.

Now that's what leadership under pressure is. It's not revving guys up, or giving the ra ra. It's actually saying 'this is what we need to do.' A clear head.

Obviously the former Leinster head coach was critical of the leadership shown by Robshaw against Wales but did offer the concede that he was left out on his own to make the decision when he should have had input from the line and from other prominent players around him.


Are those players going to step up tonight? Only time will tell. However, while we wait you can listen to the whole interview with Williams below.

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