Northampton Saints: Director of rugby Chris Boyd says English rugby ‘needs more risk-takers’
English rugby needs more risk-takers in order to flourish, says Northampton director of rugby Chris Boyd.
And the Kiwi hopes to see players across England given the “oxygen to play” in the future.
“I think for the game to flourish and grow here there needs to be more people that are prepared to take more risks,” he said.
The 63-year-old added on the Rugby Union Weekly podcast: “If I was going to be observational – because I am not going to make a criticism – but if I was going to be observational of the average English rugby player, it’s that they are too scared to make mistakes, they are too scared to try and fail.
“In New Zealand the attitude would be, if you get into a hole, we’ve got to play more, we’ve got to take a little bit more risk.”
Boyd believes the conservative mindset is evidenced in the type of centres operating across the Premiership and United Rugby Championship.
“Most of the good midfielders in the UK are good defensive midfielders, they aren’t good attacking midfielders,” he added.
“I think there is a real dearth of midfield backs that actually have any touch and feel and who can actually play the game.
“There are some bloody talented midfielders here, they just need some oxygen to play.”
While yet to win a trophy in his tenure, Boyd has developed a host of young English players and presided over a Saints team committed to an attractive style of rugby.
With Boyd stepping down at the end of the campaign, former England forward Phil Dowson will step up to become director of rugby.
“It’s come together nicely at the end because we’ve had a bit of a successful run and we’ve made the play-offs, which we are very pleased about,” Boyd added.
“But I’m more pleased with hopefully some rocks we have left behind, that will provide a foundation for a much bigger springboard, both in the coaching area and in the playing area.
“We have a wonderfully gifted group in our academy development area too, and they have a very ‘jouer’ philosophy around the development of the young people in the club.
“I think if we can hold that together over the next two or three years I think we will get some fruit growing off the tree.”