Manly coach Trent Barrett is looking forward to tapping into the winning formula of the most successful rugby franchise on the planet.
Barrett recently visited the home of Super Rugby champions the Crusaders, on a fact-finding mission in Christchurch, to meet coach Scott Robertson and was surprised to hear he was a long-time Sea Eagles fan.
“And if things would had panned out a bit differently, I could have easily ended up playing against him in the NRL,” says Barrett.
Robertson told Barrett that he combined a promising junior league and rugby union pathway like many New Zealand talents and looked to be heading for an NRL contract during a pre-season stint with the Balmain Tigers. Instead however, he was called into the New Zealand Colts team, setting him on the road to a famous All Blacks career.
Barrett was keen to visit the Crusaders as they hope to use their conditioning facilities in the lead-up to their clash against the Vodafone Warriors in Christchurch on June 9.
“Scott invited us with open arms and even showed off the Super 15 trophy they won last year,” said Barrett.
“I am always interested in talking to other coaches from any sports, especially the ones who have been as successful as Scott and the Crusaders,” said Barrett.
The Crusaders are famous for their team culture and producing an endless string of All Blacks, as well as eight Super Rugby titles.
Robertson is well-known for his obsessive search for improvement and his coaching staff spent most of their off-season travelling the globe and visiting other sporting organisations.
Barrett said he did not have much time during his flying visit but hoped to get more time with Robertson when Manly is in Christchurch leading up to their June 9 match against the Warriors.
“They are on their international break that week, so hopefully we will be able to pick their brain a bit,” said Barrett, who was particularly interested in the Crusaders culture and academy programme.
“It may not be a rugby league club, but any franchise that wins so many titles, must be worthwhile listening to.”
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