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Rugby: Bournemouth's Budge Pountney inspired by international coaches
LIONS chief Budge Pountney plans to draw on his experience of working with some of rugby’s legendary coaches as he bids to bring success to Bournemouth.
Pountney (pictured), who was appointed as director of rugby at Chapel Gate in July, arrived at the club with a distinguished reputation as a top professional.
The former Scotland captain and Northampton star played under the likes of Sir Ian McGeechan, Jim Telfer and Wayne Smith during an impressive career.
And having learned a lot from that trio of luminaries, Pountney is hoping to utilise his knowledge in the Lions hot-seat.
He told the Daily Echo: “The three coaches that had the biggest influence on my playing were Ian McGeechan, Jim Telfer and Wayne Smith.
“When you look at that sort of pedigree, I was very lucky. They are unbelievable coaches from the northern and southern hemisphere.
“Just to learn from them and to be able to play under them was a fantastic opportunity for me. You look at all three and hold them in massively high esteem.”
McGeechan and Telfer combined to memorable effect when they guided the British & Irish Lions to a famous series victory over South Africa in 1997.
Having been coached by both men during his time in club and international rugby, Pountney recalls Telfer’s renowned approach to training.
He said: “They were interesting at times, it has to be said! We got well and truly battered most of the time.
“I can remember having a full contact session most Fridays before an international. Even if we wondered why we were doing it at the time, it just toughened us up.
“Jim is a very tough man, a hard taskmaster and he worked very well with Geech, who is a very thoughtful man but who also has a hard edge.
“He would approach things differently to Jim so it was good to work under the both of them.”
Pountney tasted success in his first competitive match in charge of Bournemouth as his men secured an opening-day 42-21 win over Taunton.
Lions will be aiming to maintain that form when they host National Two South newcomers London Irish Wild Geese tomorrow (2.30pm).
Pountney added: “The club is run well and the players are looked after.
“We have tried to make sure that these guys don’t have to worry about anything else apart from their performance so when they cross the whitewash, they have had everything in place that we can possibly give them, bearing in mind we are an amateur club.
“It is a really good club in that respect and we have just got to fine-tune things.
“It is about taking things in small steps and making sure we have those things right and can move on from there.”
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