Fraser Talk: Unshackled Underline 28 April, 2011
As Fiji Rugby builds up to the 2011 Rugby World Cup join Flying Fijians assistant coach Shannon Fraser as he gives a regular insight into team preparations.
To unshackle is to remove restraints, to impart freedom, to provide oxygen to a suffocating state or to extend previously confined boundaries. Rugby has in recent years removed, or at least loosened the shackles of conservatism and allowed the game to shift back towards it’s original state, it’s intended state where a young boy from Rugby School took a previously kicked ball, picked it up and ran.

Fingerprints can now be found on match balls all around the world as opposed to impressions of bootlaces. Players are encouraged to run the ball and not simply kick it away to avoid errors. Teams are playing to win as opposed to playing not to lose. Our game has a pulse again.

I was recently in Dublin and had the opportunity to catch up with close friend and Irish National Defence Coach, Les Kiss, who re-enforced this observation as he explained how over the course of his three years with Ireland the number of tackles made in the six nations has more than doubled, suggesting teams, even those in the northern hemisphere, are maintaining possession longer and looking to use the ball more than kick it away. This is certainly the case in the Super 15 as score lines regularly exceed 50pts collectively.

The shift to a more attacking brand has resuscitated a game that had fallen to the point were it was better not to have the ball and to focus only on territory. The 2007 RWC was the low point were teams like England and Argentina who kicked the most, made more tackles and scored the least tries made it into the cup’s medal stages.

It’s a double edge sword for the Flying Fijians. On one side the modern game fits perfectly to the proposed national playing style, where, with ball in hand our instinctive, dynamic and explosive nature will be rewarded through the positive law interpretations, while on the other side of the sword, our oppositions have now had time to adjust to this style and will have ultimately developed defensive strategies to counter the increased attacking confidence.

Running rugby with an intent to win, rather than to avoid losing, will make for an exciting Rugby World Cup. 

Shannon is happy to field any comments you may have for him by emailing him at

View earlier articles from Shannon: 

Fraser Talk: Sunny Skies up North 

Fraser Talk: Collaboration

Other April 2011 News Underline
All Blacks v Flying Fijians Test confirmed 29 April, 2011 
Fiji U20 squad named 29 April, 2011 
Fijian players prominent as French season nears end 28 April, 2011 
Fraser Talk: Unshackled 28 April, 2011 
Fiji faces Samoa in Scotland 27 April, 2011 
Male appointed Fiji U20 Coach 27 April, 2011 
Fiji Rugby to host IRB Pacific Nations Cup 2011 26 April, 2011 
Fiji Rugby thrilled to host PNC 26 April, 2011 
Lee Smith's Coaching Corner: The Development of Attacking Play 26 April, 2011 
Fraser Talk: Sunny Skies up North 22 April, 2011 
Fiji Rugby's Kaji Camp 21 April, 2011 
Fiji women prepare for Pacific Games 20 April, 2011 
A Fistful of Rugby Dollars 20 April, 2011 
Player banned for 6 months 20 April, 2011 
Historic Agreement Signed Between FORU and ONOC to Grow Rugby in Oceania 19 April, 2011 
Lee Smith's Coaching Corner: Emerging trends in 7s rugby 19 April, 2011 
Latest Vacancies at Fiji Rugby 18 April, 2011 
Digicel Cup Rd 7 Results 17 April, 2011 
2011 Digicel Cup Rd 7 Tables 17 April, 2011 
Digicel Cup Rd 7 Team Lists 15 April, 2011 
Board removes Tanivula as Digicel Fiji 7s coach 15 April, 2011 
Port Elizabeth Exciting New Host of South Africa Sevens 14 April, 2011 
Sri Lanka Restored to Full IRB Member Union Status 14 April, 2011 
Rugby World Cup 2011 to Showcase 3D Technology 14 April, 2011 
The Search for Silverware 14 April, 2011 
Fraser Talk: Collaboration 13 April, 2011 
Pools and Matches set for London Sevens 13 April, 2011 
Gold Coast to kick off new HSBC Sevens World Series 13 April, 2011 
Tikoisuva appointed Flying Fijians RWC manager 11 April, 2011 
Digicel Cup Rd 6 Tables 10 April, 2011 
Digicel Cup Rd 6 Results 10 April, 2011 
Digicel Cup - Nadroga thrash Suva 32-10 09 April, 2011 
Fraser Talk: Burn the Ships 09 April, 2011 
A French countdown 07 April, 2011 
Savou gets Harrow Scholarship offer 07 April, 2011 
Digicel Cup Rd 6 Team Lists 07 April, 2011 
Major Independent Report Highlights Rugby Participation Growth in Emerging Markets 06 April, 2011 
Fraser Talk: Preparing to be the best 06 April, 2011 
FBCL extends partnership with Fiji Rugby 06 April, 2011 
New Zealand win Adelaide Sevens to stretch World Series lead 05 April, 2011 
RWC Preview - the Group of Death 03 April, 2011 
Digicel Cup Rd 5 Results 03 April, 2011 
2011 Digicel Cup Rd 5 Tables 03 April, 2011 
Digicel Cup - Rewa stun Nadroga 27-29 02 April, 2011 
Digicel Cup Rd 5 Team Lists 01 April, 2011 
CFL re-commits to Fiji Rugby 01 April, 2011 
Digicel Cup - Northland defeats Tailevu 27-18 01 April, 2011 
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