How recently departed All Blacks ‘passed the baton’ to rising stars »

All Blacks Assistant Coach Jason Ryan has shared valuable insights into the significant impact departing senior players have had on the development of New Zealand’s rising rugby stars.

As the All Blacks transition into a new era, the mentorship and guidance of seasoned veterans proved instrumental in shaping the next generation of leaders on the field, Ryan said.

Speaking on the All Blacks Podcast, Ryan highlighted examples of how this mentorship had translated into improvements in emerging players.

One notable player Ryan mentioned was Asafo Aumua, the dynamic hooker for the Hurricanes.

“Asafo, he is playing good rugby at the moment, and Colesy (Dane Coles) got him into it,” he said, referring to the influence of former All Black Dane Coles, whose guidance and high standards had played a role in the younger years. the way the player approaches the game.

Another player who received high praise from Ryan was Chiefs lock Tupou Vaa’i.

“Tupou Vaa’i is exceptional. He calls the Chiefs lineout and Guzzler (Brodie Retallick) has him trapped,” Ryan noted.

Affectionately known as ‘Guzzler’, Retallick was a pivotal figure in New Zealand rugby for many years and has clearly had an influence on Vaa’i, who is now a central figure in the Chiefs line-up, demonstrating both leadership and tactical insight.

Ryan observed a broader trend of younger players taking on leadership roles and excelling in their positions.

“What I’ve seen is a transition of players who were there or around there and are now at the forefront of conversations,” he said.

Ryan said this transition was crucial as the All Blacks continued without some of their old stalwarts.

“Those guys (Coles and Retallick) won’t be there this year, so they set them up to succeed. It’s what we call passing the baton, and they’ve taken over.”

The concept of ‘passing the baton’ resonated deeply in the culture of the All Blacks and emphasized the responsibility of senior players to prepare the next generation, Ryan said.

“So I’m very impressed with those few examples, and there’s a lot more around the traps,” Ryan said. “You see some good players coming up, who are coached by the more experienced guys.”

Watch the All Blacks squad for the Steinlager Ultra Low Carb Series LIVE on NZR+ and The Breakdown on Sky Sport NZ from 5.30pm NZT on Monday 24 June.