Latest News

Back to Latest News back

 

New Zealand Rugby selection process needs to include moral as well as social values

New Zealand Rugby selection process needs to include moral as well as social values
July 11, 2019

Following the selection of Canterbury Crusaders star Sevu Reece for the All Blacks squad amid an assault controversy, a University of Otago study has suggested that New Zealand Rugby's selection process lacks a moral compass.

The study by two University of Otago researchers, published in the International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching, found New Zealand Rugby (NZR) has a list of socially orientated “character assessment values”, including work ethic, competitiveness, resilience, coachability, and motivation in rugby, which they use to assess players’ character during the selection process.

The authors of the study, Associate Professor Tania Cassidy, of the School of Physical Education, Sport and Exercise Sciences, and Otago graduate Ryan Rosevear, reported that while these values all directly impact performance, leading international character academics recommend a focus also be placed on moral values, specifically compassion, fairness, ‘sportspersonship’ and integrity.

Rosevear advised “NZR lacks clear emphasis on moral values. This reflects other researchers’ claims that principles such as honesty and sportspersonship are not often emphasised in elite team sports because they do not win matches.”

The pair call on NZR to consider incorporating values with a moral, as well as social focus, and encourage open discussion about why some values are prioritised and not others; possible unintended consequences of adopting particular values; and the range of behaviours that reflect, and are influenced by, such values.

Associate Professor Cassidy noted “the findings of this study are significant not only for rugby, in New Zealand and elsewhere, but they are also relevant and topical for any recruitment agent, employer, selector, or sports coach who either implicitly or explicitly appoints, promotes, selects or deselects participants based on character.”

Along with gaining insight into how character is understood within NZR, the researchers also studied how the player development manager of a provincial union negotiates, constructs and operationalizes interpretations of character within talent identification and development practices.

They found the provincial union adapted the NZR’s character assessment values to produce its own list of ideals, reflecting its context and the values of its stakeholders. Work ethic is the only value that appears in both lists.

The provincial union has a less formal approach to the assessment of character, which is informed by other implied policies to: recruit local players, capitalise on those already in the representative system, have “no dickheads”, and view character as a “swing factor” when deciding between two players.

Rosevear added “in contrast to the NZR, the provincial union does emphasise some moral values, such as compassion, integrity and being a role model. These are not often correlated to performance, but stress an importance on developing the person.”

The researchers believe this may be because the provincial union’s players have a closer connection to the community. The focus of the provincial union academy is also on player development, as opposed to NZR which primarily focuses on improving performance.

They acknowledge NZR has done well to explicitly identify and utilise five values as determinants of expected and desired behaviour, and encourage coaches and selectors to assess and judge a player’s character against them.

However, they also hope the organisation recognises its selectors use both overt and implied values to assess players, self-reliance being one example.

While it is not stated in NZR’s list of character assessment values, self-reliance is assumed by some selectors to be a highly desirable trait, especially after ex-All Blacks coach Sir Graham was quoted as saying “the more self-reliant players we had, the better we’d play”.

Associate Professor Cassidy concluded “the perceived importance of resilience in elite sport is becoming increasingly apparent.”

Related Articles

7th June 2019 - Steve Tew to leave New Zealand Rugby Chief Executive role

25th May 2019 - Risks of local government investment in major venues highlighted in Forsyth Barr stadium study

23rd April 2019 - New Zealand Rugby advises of significant profit downturn through 2018 financial year

6th September 2018 - ExerciseNZ’s Richard Beddie slams All Blacks move for more Government backing

8th August 2018 - New Zealand Rugby calls meeting to help fans tackle ticket resellers

24th May 2018 - University of Waikato pleased with High Performance Sport impact at Commonwealth Games

11th September 2017 - Review finds that New Zealand rugby must change attitudes towards women

6th November 2016 - New Zealand Rugby extends AIG partnership

5th August 2016 - Chiefs handling of stripper allegations slammed as public relations disaster

10th December 2014 - Study suggests All Blacks likely to keep on winning

7th June 2010 - Motorsport athletes display superior visual abilities, say Otago researchers


Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.

 

supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

SUNBATHER

Solar Pool Heating & Swimming Pool Covers since 1974. Sunbather offer an Australian made product which undergoes continual development to enable you to trust in the Sunbather brand. We deliver a…

read more

Aquatics / Venues

 
 

Fitness On Demand

Fitness On Demand™ is a market-leading developer of virtual group fitness products. Our innovative video delivery systems offer robust content and a simple-to-use, comprehensive web app. Fitness…

read more

Fitness / Technology / Wellness

 
 

DEBITSUCCESS

Over the past 10 years Debitsuccess has been providing expert billing services to businesses across Australia. Debitsuccess is now the largest full service direct debit provider in Australasia,…

read more

Billing / Finance / Fitness / Golf / Recreation

 
 

Neptune Benson

Neptune Benson is a manufacturer of high quality water filtration and disinfection products for the recreational, industrial, and municipal water markets. With more than 20,000 installations…

read more

Aquatics / Design / Recreation

 
 

Enta Australasia

As of the 1st July 2018, Enta Australasia Pty Ltd/Best Union has been rebranded as VIVATICKET Pty Ltd.  Click here to view the VIVATICKET Pty Ltd listing.  19th July 2018 - ENTA…

read more

Technology / Ticketing / Venues

 
 

Jonas Leisure

JonasLeisure offers a complete range of leading leisure and recreation software brands – envibe, Centaman, Gladstone Health & Leisure, The Retention People, Nutrition Complete and…

read more

Aquatics / Billing / Fitness / Recreation / Sport

 
 

Anti Wave International

Anti Wave International is the original suppliers of top performance swim, aquatic sports, leisure and pool programming equipment. Founded in 1971, Anti Wave International is proud of its…

read more

Aquatics / Play / Sport

 
 

CENTAMAN

Centaman has been a market leader in Enterprise Software Solutions for the leisure and recreation industry and both profit and not-for-profit attractions since 1991. It offers a wide range of software…

read more

Access / Billing / Fitness / Technology / Ticketing

 
 
 
 

get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business