Jared Payne “advocacy is a way of being between pleasure, desire and enthusiasm”

After a career crowned with numerous caps with the club XV as well as a tour with the British Lions, Jared Payne became defense coach after being the Ulstermen’s regulator for many seasons. Passionate, driven by overflowing energy, this renowned specialist who has densified and closed the Northern Irish defense to make it one of the toughest in Europe, arrives in Auvergne with serious convictions and with an enormous desire to transmit and federate – if Interview…

What are your first impressions after 5 weeks in Auvergne?
It’s a great place to work, the infrastructure is ideal for the highest level, the players put in a lot of energy, there’s a good squad – everything to do a good job. The weather is also very nice…

How did your integration go?
Very well, since we made the decision to join the club a lot of things have been put in place to help me and ease the transition from one club to another. This necessarily accelerated my integration here at Clermont. I was very well received by the staff where everyone speaks English, which helps me a lot while I’m familiarizing myself with French. I knew Jono who trained me in Ulster but also Benson who I played with in the Auckland Blues and even Johnny Claxton who I worked with in New Zealand. All this helped me a lot when I got to Clermont, which everyone had recommended.

When and why did you choose to pursue your career as a defensive coach?
I ended my career with Ulster and Ireland after a concussion (Editor’s note: suffered with the British Lions against the Chiefs in June 2017 during their tour of New Zealand). I thought I could come back during the year, but I never could – some concussion symptoms were still there. At the end of the season, Jono offered me the opportunity to take over the responsibility of the defense in the squad. We discussed it on a Friday and by 7am on Monday I had taken the computer and assumed my duties. I wasn’t necessarily ready, but it felt good to start this new adventure. The staff supported me in this new career with all the enthusiasm they could bring. Things were cleared up very quickly, responsibilities and missions assigned…and in the end it went very well. I was an experienced player, I knew the club well and how the province of Ulster worked, the transition between player and manager was not that complicated even in human relations.

Was it an area where you already had a lot of responsibility as a player with Ulster or the Irish team?
yes i think I have always been a player interested in the game and understanding it. You always have responsibilities and decisions to make when you play in the center, especially in the second central position where you have to organize the defense on the outside. It also happens when you play at the back and you have to rearrange the distribution of the defensive line.

For you, what are the keys to a good defense?
Energy, pleasure and excitement in everything you have to do. The group must also walk in the same direction, believe in the same, be on the same page. Everyone has to adhere to and be driven by the same philosophy, the same way of thinking defensively. It has to be built collectively, but when you add to that the energy, the fun and the determination in every duel and every situation… then you get something solid.

Ideally, how would you describe Jared Payne’s defense?
Ah…the “Jared Payne Defense” (laughs)…I’d like to think that guys are eager and eager to defend, that they work hard, for each other, and that they attack every situation that comes their way with the desire to dominate the rival. . There may be mistakes but the system must be able to correct them through solidarity and teamwork. We will try to go in this direction and see what it can give…

Clermont finished last season with over 22 points conceded/game, what are the team’s areas of progress in this area?
I think the team has already started this progression last season where Benson did a good job. It has progressed the players individually, now you need to further frame everyone’s role and find consistency in performance. The players know they were lost last season with sometimes good defensive streaks and sometimes too weak. We will try to work even harder when we don’t have the ball to move better and find better positions to make it difficult for opposing attacks and to be safer in situations where a mistake can put the team at risk.

It is the system that will evolve, the technique or both…

It’s always a combination. As I said, in my opinion, defense is a way of being between pleasure, desire and excitement, but obviously this must be associated with the right gestures, the right analysis of the situation and the absolute certainty of working together, for each other. . And on this last point, it is the systems that enable the overall smooth operation and performance of the “finished product”. It is also the collective will of the team that sets the tone of the defense. We must maintain all the indicators throughout the season: desire, technique and also respect for the systems, at a high level of demand to achieve performance.

See you with a lot of energy in the field…

(cut) Oh yes!!! (River)

Is it a way to compensate for communication before the French take over?
No, I don’t think it’s that. I am happy to be on the ground to convey my way of seeing things and I am very excited about it. We are very lucky to do this job and to play the sport we love. I like the energy that emanates from the field, I just do my job with passion.

Back to communication, the language barrier is a problem…

Sometimes, but frankly, I don’t think about it that much. We always manage to understand each other. Rugby is actually quite a simple sport and energy ultimately requires quite a few words… plus ‘body language’ is universal!

“When you are a coach, the most important thing is to see progress, even if there is a bit of inertia at the beginning, the most important thing is to see things move forward.”

Finally, what are your goals for these warm-up games and the start of the season?

The players are working well and getting closer to the principles of our defense every day. I love seeing this progression and the implementation of these systems every day in training. In this group there is, I repeat, a lot of desire and excitement. Of course, there will be mistakes during the two pre-season games but this will allow us to correct the situation and further strengthen our collective convictions and our understanding. What I want is to see the right attitudes and to be sure that we are all going in the same direction.

When you are a coach, the most important thing is to see progress, even if there is a little inertia at the beginning, the most important thing is to see things move forward. We know where we start, now we have to give our best to put ourselves in a position to win as many games as possible.

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