George Chuter talks us though his playing and coaching career…
I retired after 18 years in professional rugby with Saracens, and Leicester Tigers. In that time, I won 11 major titles, and played in over 400 professional games, including 24 Test matches for England.
I was never a player to just do what I was told and play like a robot. From the beginning of my career, I always wanted to know why we did things, and what we hoped to achieve by doing them.
I knew that certain players were gifted with a natural ability to play rugby, but I was always interested in how things worked for the team as a whole.
Looking back now, I realise this was the basis for my interest in coaching – the desire to find a way that a group of players with varied skills and abilities can work together to be successful.
I have coached in a great deal of sides in my time as a player. I started out as the forwards coach for Saracens U21s when I was 21 years old. Over my next three years at the club, we worked hard in the community and were coaching in local schools and clubs at least once a month.
After moving to Leicester, I went out under my own steam and coached sessions at some of the big private schools, such as Stamford and Oakham, the Leicester Tigers Academy, and local clubs Nuneaton and Rugby Lions.
All this gave me exposure to all varieties of players. They ranged from the elite, to the recreational, and helped me understand that coaching is about far more than just winning as it is at the top end of the professional game.
Coaching is also about helping your players to improve as individuals, to improve as a team, and to develop and uphold the core values of the game – teamwork, respect, enjoyment, discipline, and sportsmanship.
As I move into the next phase of my career, I am enjoying coaching at Loughborough University. I would very much like to pass on the things I have learned during a long time in the game, to players and coaches of all levels.