Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Rugby's Core Values - Guest Blog: Mal McLean

Following the publication by the RFU of Rugby's Core Values, Millwall Lions will be running a series of guest "blogs" from players telling us the effect and impact rugby has had on their lives.

This month, we hear from 1st XV Prop and U15s Assistant Coach, Mal McLean:

Rugby has been a large part of my life since I was 12 years year old when I started playing for my high school. When I first started, I had no idea what I was supposed to be doing, especially when I was introduced to my playing position of prop forward! Luckily, I had a good coach and understanding team-mates who were prepared to help me out and figure out how to get the best out of each other to start playing well.

That was my first real lesson in rugby; the team is only as strong as its weakest part. The second was 'go in hard or you'll get hurt' but more about that another time!

Rugby is different from other sports, as a good performance needs the effort of the whole team. A rugby team can't rely on one or two good players to win the game because even star players like Dan Carter, Johnny Wilkinson or Richie McCaw depend on their team-mates to win the ball in the scrum or the lineout, to make the pass, kick the goals and to tackle the opposition.

No rugby player, no matter how talented, has ever won a game by playing alone.

Teamwork is not just about the playing aspects of rugby; it's about trusting your team-mates to do their job correctly and supporting them when things go wrong. It's about keeping high standards and encouraging your team-mates to work hard at training and making sure that your mates are ok off the field too.

Being part of a team gives you the motivation to push yourself further than you ever thought possible. Team-mates should encourage, inspire and expect 100% commitment and effort from each other. When I see my team-mate make a big tackle, putting their body on the line to save a try or cause a turnover, it makes me play harder and I push myself to get to that breakdown faster than the last one.

My first rugby team wasn't the biggest or the most talented team in our grade but we did very well that year and won against sides we weren't expected to beat because we played together as a team.

Mal McLean

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