Greg McWilliams' World Cup Reflection
Rugby United New York Head Coach Greg McWilliams recently returned from the Rugby World Cup after coaching with the United States National Team. RUNY’s Kiera Fitzgibbon sat down with the newly appointed lead man to hear his reflections on the tournament.
What did it mean to you to coach the US National Team at the Rugby World Cup this year?
Obviously coaching at the Rugby World Cup was a fantastic experience with a brilliant group of players and staff; we are like a family. I wish we could have collected a win for the American people, but the players represented USA with class and that is a massive take away. Just being a part of that group was a privilege as well as learning from Gary (USA Head Coach), the coaching staff and players.
What will you take away from this experience?
I’m re-energized and excited to get back at it. Sometimes it’s not what you experience, it’s how you can learn and better yourself for the next challenge. The opposition were world class; the top teams take away so much time and space on the ball like nothing I have seen before. Getting players comfortable with pressure is a constant work on and critical in the modern game.
What were your favorite parts about Japan?
The people were magic. We can learn a great deal from their culture. Respect and kindness are at the forefront. Of the places USA were based, Kobe was first class, followed closely by Okinawa.
How do you think the US performed during the World Cup?
We were competitive and that’s always a must. I still feel a little deflated with the results to be honest. We all went into the competition with a goal of doing something special and the players worked incredibly hard to achieve that goal. Sport doesn’t give you what you deserve sometimes; the key is to learn from it and be better for the next challenge. We are definitely improving, but so are all other nations. It is all about the pathway and players learning basic skills at an earlier age; that will make a big difference.
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