Larkham and Grey focused on 2015 journey

by Staff Writer

Stephen Larkham is keen to keep his World Cup journey separate from the 2015 group.

He’s been to a World Cup final as a player and Wallabies defence coach Nathan Grey says it’s a more selfless existence with the clipboard in hand.

Grey played in Australia’s 1999 World Cup final and was part of the 2003 squad and said as a player the focus is far more individual.

“Your preparation as a player is you’re a little bit selfish but understandably so because you’ve got to get yourself right and go through your own prep,” he said.

“As a coach, you got to worry about the 32 other guys in the team and make sure everyone’s really comfortable with what they’re doing.,” he said.

“The front of the week is a lot busier in terms of strategically getting everything set up and getting the guys having good understanding on how we want to play the game and what not.

"Then the back end of the week you’re really focused on the mental side of things and make sure they’re comfortable and ready to go.”

Grey said his job as a coach was to just ensure that things stayed the same regardless of which game but also embrace the occasion come Saturday.

“It’s another game of rugby where we get the opportunity to display how we play and our style of rugby so you just go about the preparation process,” he said.

“All you can control is what you do on the grass come 4 o’clock on Saturday afternoon.

“That’s where you need to spend most of your mental time.”

His attacking counterpart Stephen Larkham said there was little difference from his transition into coaching in 2011 at the Brumbies and said this tournament was “business as usual”.

“It’s a lot different (as a player versus a coach),” he said.

“I guess (it’s about) trying to find the difference between how the current crop of players play compared to how we played and trying to get the most out of the players,” he said.

“For me at the World Cup, it’s been business as usual trying to get the guys prepped as well as possible.

Both Larkham and Grey have previously discussed their reluctance to try and cut and paste their own experiences to the 2015 squad, who they say are on an entirely different journey.

Larkham said he hadn’t even tried to give the team any advice about the occasion.

“I haven’t even tried to offer them anything,” he said.

“(In 1999) we were expected to do well and at the start of the knock-out stages, we really struggled with that pressure through that week, but then we got over that (quarter-final) hump and got on a bit of a roll towards the final.

“This group here has been on a bit of a journey together.

“They've played some hard games over the past year and have really grown as a team and through this tournament, we’ve been through a fair bit.

“I don’t think there’s any reflections that are going to help this team with the way they’re at the moment."

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