Wasis Ladies & # 39; Giselle Mather on being director of rugby during the coronavirus pandemic | Rugby Union News

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<pre><pre>Wasis Ladies & # 39; Giselle Mather on being director of rugby during the coronavirus pandemic | Rugby Union News
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Wasps Giselle Mather talks to Sky Sports about what the current period has been like

Wasps Ladies Rugby Director Giselle Mather talks exclusively to Sky Sports about what the coronavirus outbreak has been like from a professional and personal perspective.

Mather, a leading women's rugby coach, winner of the 1994 Rugby World Cup and the first woman to train at a Premier club on the men's side as head of the London Irish Academy, Mather has never experienced anything like this.

In a world where things are changing minute by minute, those in positions of leadership and authority in clubs have had greater responsibility and greater scrutiny over them.

So what have the past few weeks been like from a Rugby Director's perspective?

"The first thing is to deal with change and keep people calm and give them specific details," said Mather. Sky Sports Rugby.

"The constantly changing scene was: 'Could we go in? Can we train? Will we have competition? Is it suspended? What is going to happen?

"It was a real stir for everyone because the athletes put in a lot of effort and time. And it's a little bit different for us compared to our male counterparts in the Premier League, because that's their full-time paid job."

"There are some athletes in the Tyrrells Premier 15 who are paid, but not many. For many of them, it is the main thing, but they work to be able to play."

Most of the players within the Tyrrells Premier 15 are unpaid and work alongside their rugby careers.

Most of the players within the Tyrrells Premier 15 are unpaid and work alongside their rugby careers.

"They invest a lot of their time, energy, personal finances, all of it."

"So when all this was going on, there was a big concern. For me, the issue should be as clear as possible."

"I realized very quickly that linking players to things right away meant that I was saying completely different things to them three hours later.

"I finished every afternoon at 8pm, sending messages to all the players in terms of the day we had had, where we were as a group and what we were looking to do the next day.

"I responded to them every day and they really appreciated what I thought. That was my first important role: giving clarity and guidance on how we would deal with Wasps."

"Then as soon as the RFU gave us pretty good leadership as far as we are concerned, it said, 'That's it, it's over. This league is done.' We were able to make really clear decisions for ourselves because many of the variables had gone.

"When you say to athletes: 'Oh, we could be playing in six weeks', they have to do very different things if you tell them: 'That's it, it's gone'.

Mather has implemented several steps to stay in touch with her Wasps squad

Mather has implemented several steps to stay in touch with her Wasps squad

"Since then, we have said one day that we imagine it to be May 30, which was supposed to be the final of the top 15 in Tyrrells. And we launched something as if we had won it, to celebrate in all their houses one night Just for fun, because no one could say no!

"We have put them on their rest period at the end of the season. Normally that would be mandatory, and we would make them rest, but because we did not play during the Six Nations, this makes it even more difficult for athletes in the Tyrrells Premier 15s. .

"So I said they can continue training if they want to, but keeping in mind that when it gets to the preseason, when possible we will be increasing and if you continue constantly you will go rancid. There are all those things that we have to deal with.

"I send them weekly challenges. This week, we have some eye and hand stuff, some visual awareness, and you can do it from home.

"I asked them to write a letter to an older person they know, not an email but a letter, and to post it, to connect to the self-isolated people.

"We are also setting up the Zoom platform and we will all do a great workout from our homes on Thursday nights following our strength and conditioner, rather than training.

"And on Tuesday, we have a big test that we want everyone to come to that platform and do. So it's about keeping people connected. And that's what I'm trying to do as Director of Rugby."

Mather is one of the most recognized figures in women's rugby, having been involved at the top for decades.

Mather is one of the most recognized figures in women's rugby, having been involved at the top for decades.

It was on March 20 that the RFU announced that it would not start the 2019/20 national rugby in England at all levels below the Gallagher Premier League, ending the campaign.

As a result, the year 2020 will remain forever unmarked in various trophies. Without winning, without completing, without claiming.

"The reasoning behind that was that the government was talking about a 12-week minimum cycle," says Mather.

"If you spend 12 weeks, rugby is a sport you can't go to:" We are back, everyone has stayed in shape, so we will play again next Saturday. "He needs a period of three or four weeks to recover the contact and increase it slowly, otherwise you will end up with a lot of injuries all over the place.

"So another four weeks would have passed, and then we are 16 weeks ahead and we are already reaching July. Then we would have to spend six weeks from July and that immediately begins to impact the following season, and COVID-19 no No I just ruined this season, but it ruins the next.

The RFU made the decision to cancel the 2019/20 season at all levels below Gallagher's Premier League last week

The RFU made the decision to cancel the 2019/20 season at all levels below Gallagher's Premier League last week

"So the RFU has called him, and I hope that in September we will start again and leave. Personally, I congratulate them on that."

"In my league, we don't have Liverpool where someone was miles away, and we don't have relegation either, so it's easier to do that than others. In Gallagher's Premier League, they haven't called him, for example, so I still haven't we don't know what's going to happen there.

"I mean, what are they going to do in Premier League football? Even if they only award it to Liverpool, you know what it would be like on the terraces next year. The other fans will be relentless in their: & # 39; You I didn't win it, and you can see it coming. And what do they do with the descent? There are big problems for decision makers.

"It is not simple and direct."

The Tyrrells Premier 15s trophy will have no winner for 2020

The Tyrrells Premier 15s trophy will have no winner for 2020

It has been an exceptionally uncertain and confusing period for everyone. How have the players reacted?

"We have a great thing at Wasps: stay strong, stay safe, stay connected, and we have to make sure we keep an eye on those players."

"In terms of the season, there is frustration there, but most of us are seeing the big picture. It is life and death for some people right now."

"I have to respond to the big picture and look at the NHS, and we have doctors and nurses on our team and we are all turning to them, they are inspiring."

As Mather discussed, several of the players within the Tyrrells Premier 15 are unpaid and work to play. But for the Rugby Director, this is his job.

What will this period mean in terms of possible pay cuts or a modified pay structure?

"That is the next stage. They are reviewing that as to whether we can get into the Furlough Scheme that the government has brought up.

"We also have session staff, and again, how do we take care of them? Because they are not delivering sessions. We are not a wealthy club, we do not have many people sitting at Wasps FC, because we are not Under Wasps RFC finances, we have ours .

"These are the next decisions. And it depends on how long this happens as to whether I will have a job at the end.

Mather has also coached the Barbarians and won the 1994 Rugby World Cup as a player.

Mather has also coached the Barbarians and won the 1994 Rugby World Cup as a player.

"These are uncertain times. But I don't see it that way, I have to keep going, be there for the players. That is my responsibility as DOR and my philosophy is to develop the whole human being, not just the rugby player, so this it is an opportunity to continue doing that.

"To develop as people. They say that better people make better players."

Prime Minister Boris Johnson effectively announced closure measures on Monday in the UK's latest response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Personally, how has that been for Mather?

"I have three teenagers, so I'll leave it at that!

"But actually, we have dined together at the table four days in a row, which we have not done in months. Because my children are all athletes, I go out late at night training, and we have actually sat around the table so there is a silver lining to everything.

"I'm sure it's happening in homes across the country. If they're all together, we're spending time. And as a DOR, I generally don't have that much time to do things like that.

"When we go out to play our sport, I think people are realizing how much sport means to them. And how much we need it and how much it unites us."

"My boys are crazy Chelsea fans, they are season ticket holders and they made it to every game. They love it and they are really missing it."

"It's a sense of belonging, it's social. I'm with the team as much as with my family, and I'm not here right now. And weekends are not the same."

"It really brings him home."

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