Rugby World Cup 2019: WP Nel on missing family and improving Russia

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By Tom English
BBC Scotland at Japan
WP Nel can be as tough to move, not so much in a concrete sense, but in a psychological sense and is a boulders form.
Where players at this World Cup have been away from home for so long that a number of them might be forgetting what normal life feels like Were now at the stage. Take Nel, for instance. Hes got a wife and three children again in Edinburgh. Next week, henre is will turn 10. Thats a birthday.
Theres Arabella who is five and Kayla, the baby, only born in the midst of July. Not that hed want to take into account this for too long but if Nel added the number of days wee Kayla was in this world and subtracted the amount of times he has been at training camps or outside here in Japan then the truth is that hes been out of her for half her life.
So while we probe about the loss to Ireland and the damage it wreaked and the victory over Samoa and the aid it attracted and the coming must-win matches against Russia and against Japan, theres something else that is relevant in most of this and that is the psychological battle the fathers of young children go through while still living inside this rugby cocoon.
Nel was asked about this on Friday. Its reasonable to say that he did break down in tears at the time of the absent family, but that is not to mention that this substance is not something rugby players need to deal with. Its. Some may be from home or out of form, however like they dont exist, they need to deal with these emotions. No visible signs of gloominess are encouraged in this environment.
The mental battle is obviously there, he says. You miss your family, you want them around you, but as a group were close together and we are helping each other. Sometimes phone calls home can be difficult. The kids are becoming emotional, it is getting long (time off ) but it is our job. Back home, even when youre a weekend off its hard for the kids. They dont enjoy it, but you somehow need to get it around. It is a part of the game. That is why youre playing – for the loved ones and for your staff around you.
The next game is on Wednesday so theyll (Henre and Arabella) likely be in college. That I know my boy will probably have watched it about 10 times by now although the Samoa was match on Monday, hell most likely say exactly what I did wrong.
I will have to bring back them presents. I want to drain my cases and put some stuff in there. Ive the list in my cellphone. It is all of the way from automobiles to dolls.
Nel can not permit himself to dream about house just yet, not when we are in the center of the tournament from a Scotland perspective. Two pool games playedtwo pool games left. Russia first.
With every game they have got better and better, says Nel of a negative coached by the Welsh veteran Lyn Jones. The have a good backpack. If you see how they prepared they were to Ireland then you definitely understand we need to be ready for them and theyre a well trained side and execute it and we need to choose our game plan. Their tighthead (Kirill Gotovtsev, that has also represented Russia in wrestling and bobsleigh) is acting well and is the anchor of their scrum. Youre able to see that everything revolves around him at scrum-time. Hell be a large factor for us in our preparation.
The world is counting the times to Scotland playing with Japan in what may be one of the most dramatic times in this particular tournament.
The very first wave of Japanese journalists turned up on Friday at Scotlands press conference. Wave after wave will probably follow. They continue to carry with them a complete reverence for Greig Laidlaw, as if hes some kind of day amalgam of Nick Farr-Jones Gareth Edwards and Joost van der Westhuizen.
Even the fixation that dates four decades to if the scrum-half starred against Japan from the past World Cup and then transported on in the summer of 2016 if Japan were trying they might beat the Scots at Tokyo just for Laidlaw to come off the seat to save the day.
Theres business to be accomplished before they both go to Yokohama. Russia will be be placed out with a bonus stage in Shizuoka however, the evidence is that theyll take a bit of breaking down before the attempts come. On the night of the World Cup, Japan claimed their all-important fourth try at the 68th minute. Joness team were dealt several cruel blows, literally, against Samoa who had two gamers. What a difference it may have made into the final score had Russia.
Despite Ireland, they were denied by them a bonus point score before the 61st minute. They had held the Irish scoreless for 25 minutes. They sent 35 points and five tries in the long run, but they defeated to Joe Schmidts group. Russia couldnt score, but they never stopped battling.
Scotlands forwards coach, Danny Wilson, is a Welshman and understands Jones well. Russia are a really good defensive staff, their signature area defence is a real handful, says Wilson. Lyn will likely be significantly involved in this.
They have grown during the championship and we will have to be right on top of our game to deal with that. Lyn is a really smart coach. We did a lot of our coach education in exactly the identical time and hes one of the brains of the game in my opinion. Im sure hell have something up his sleeve.
At times they frustrated Ireland and I think they turned them eight times, along with five of these were around the breakdown. So we know what is coming. We are not seeing beyond that game at the moment. At the back of your mind you do need to prepare to perform Japan, however we will not be taking this challenge. It is one we relish.
Saturday marks their 114th afternoon in camp because the summer. A eternity with the pressurised day of all more than a week off. Success rides staying focused amid this marathon that was rugby.
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