Consistency is key
Continuity counts in the pursuit of success says Barnes
Last Updated: May 11, 2012 11:58am
Leicester Tigers have been the model of consistently throughout the Premiership era and consequently the prototype for success, according to Stuart Barnes.
"Gloucester, when you fall off the edge of the earth like they did at the back end of the season then you always are going to expect changes."
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The Tigers have consistently appointed from within the club, resulting in a largely constant playing philosophy and club culture that has led to seven league titles in the last 15 years.
When they have recruited from a far, such as the appointments of Australian Bob Dwyer and Argentine Marcelo Loffreda, the results have been less impressive.
And with all of the play-off teams this season showing continuity of leadership while those finishing from sixth to 12th, except for Wasps, are set to start next season with new directors of rugby, Barnes believes the case for consistency is clear.
"Obviously if you are struggling then you are going to make changes anyway but I think there is something in that," he told the Rugby Club.
"Leicester have set a template in the professional game.
"They had that wobble a million years ago when Bob Dwyer came in. They went outside (the club) and got Dwyer and Waisale Serevi and Marika Vunibaka and Leicester started to say, 'hey let's play showbiz rugby'.
"It didn't work. They went to Dean Richards, after Richards they went to John Wells and then Richard Cockerill. Continuity for Leicester came from the club. Saracens - they have developed tightness; Northampton - they have Jim Mallinder there.
"London Irish tried to do the same with Toby Booth and Mike Catt after Brian Smith but of course sometimes if you are struggling you can go too far. So if you look at London Irish they have had six years of pretty mediocre rugby and no placings.
Former Leicester, Harlequins and England centre Will Greenwood highlighted West Country giants Bath and Gloucester as examples of where clubs will make changes if their massive ambitions remain unfulfilled.
He said: "Gloucester, when you fall off the edge of the earth like they did at the back end of the season then you always are going to expect changes. They demand success, they demand Heineken Cup rugby."