Family environment helping Wallabies

Posted @ 10/9/2015    By Beth Newman
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Kane Douglas says the Wallabies are benefitting from the tight-knit environment that Michael Cheika has tried to create throughout the squad.

The 26-year-old said there was a sense of wanting to play well for their teammates among this Wallabies squad but also the significance of their families watching on.

Family was a major factor of Douglas’ recent decision to sign with the Queensland Reds in Super Rugby, less than an hour from his Gold Coast Titan brother Luke and northern NSW where his father lives.

With he and partner Jennarly expecting their first child, family has only become an even more present thought in his mind, when delving into what spurs him.

“I’m from a small town, I’ve got a kid on the way so all those things but just even being in this environment and playing well for my mates,: he said.

“We’ve got a pretty good job, a pretty good life, cruising around with your mates and playing footy so it’s pretty good.”

Douglas, who recently returned to Australia after a season with Leinster, said coach Michael Cheika’s ability to tap into players’ motivations and creating a tight-knit feel among the playing group.

“I think Cheik...he’s trying to make it all about family and why you’re playing and what gives you the motivation and things to play,” he said.

“He delves into that a bit with his thinking.

“Everyone’s sort of bought in and we all want to do well for eachother but then for our friends and our families and things as well.”

Cheika speaks often of belief and building  trust both within  his team and between players and the wider community .

A coaching approach that is individualistic in many ways transfers on to captain Stephen Moore and the team’s attitude to rules.

There’s no curfews or specific disciplinary rules for the side but Moore said players are clear on expectations.

“I think you let everyone make their own decisions and I guess you try and educate them about what’ the best thing to do for a high performance/professional athlete and the boys have been really good around that side of things,” he said.

“I think Cheik makes it clear what’s expected and we all know what we stand for and in terms of curfews and rules we haven’t done anything like that.

“That’s given the boys a chance to make their own decisions and I think that’s a good way to approach it."

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