Sport Rugby

Saturday 17 February 2018

Trevor Hogan: Keano unlikely to follow Knox 'No 2' template

Roy Keane
Roy Keane

Trevor Hogan

With the appointment of Roy Keane as assistant to Martin O'Neill, a lot of attention has turned to the role of the 'No 2.'

While there is a little uncertainty as to what Keane's precise role will be within the team, in rugby, the assistant coach's job is usually fairly clearcut. This is largely due to the natural division between backs and forwards, which creates a requirement for another coach with a completely different set of skills.

Players generally find it easier to get feedback from the assistant coach, who, in my experience, can afford to be a little more relaxed and upfront, or in O'Neill's lingo the 'good good cop.'

David Knox, an unconventional assistant coach we had at Leinster a few years back, is a 'No 2' that Keane is unlikely to be emulating.

When the team were in post-training huddles, deep in tactical discussions and last-minute motivational chat, Knox – an extremely laid back Australian – used to love nothing more than to box-kick balls from 30 yards away to see if he could land them on the heads of the players.

Somehow, I can't imagine Keano taking time-out during the team talks to work on his long-range passing, by trying to clip Shane Long from afar.

Irish Independent

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