- England World Cup winner Matt Dawson previews England v Japan
- IBM Watson has analysed the personalities of the England rugby team
Owen Farrell has grown and matured as a player and leader of this England team and his perfomances this November have proved that, says Rugby World Cup winner Matt Dawson.
IBM Watson found that the No 10s scored lowest in terms of their emotional range. This means that they are more towards the mild-tempered end of the emotional spectrum, that they are more likely to stay level-headed at times of potential stress.
That is what I’d expect. When I was playing at scrum-half, I wanted my 10 to provide definitive answers to problems. I wanted him to be constantly making decisions. I wanted authority, vision, bravery. I didn't ever want my fly-half to be right in the thick of it physically.
Certainly with the likes of Farrell and Ireland’s Johnny Sexton, the more they have their hands on the ball, the more they’re in the 10 position, the better they and their team play.
MaturingAnd Farrell seems to have understood this. In the past couple of seasons, it seems like he’s moved along that emotional range scale. IBM Watson found that second-rows were the most passionate in the heat of battle, with flankers and No 8s not far behind. And the Farrell of old was up there with them a while back.
But he's grown up over the last two or three years. It looks to me like he's worked on this a lot because he is a very different style of player.
Farrell's been at 10 bossing the game this November and he's now playing less like an inside centre; he still knows how to take the ball to the line and he knows how to ruck and compete for the ball, but he's picking and choosing those times to do it. Most of the time he's finding himself running the show and enjoying running the show.
Farrell’s emotional control will mirror what England need to have against Australia. Eddie Jones’ side will need to be very calculated; physical yes, but very clear-minded in the decisions they're making early on. There'll be loads of emotion flying around because England have had a pretty good set of Quilter Internationals and they'll want to finish it off in style. But they’ll need to save all the fist-pumping and emotion until the last 10 minutes when they’re beating them by 15 or 20 points.
FreneticAustralia are a very good side when they are the underdog; the bigger the underdog, the more they seem to be able to deliver a style of performance and a game plan which upsets the opposition.
I’m expecting something from Australia that we haven't seen before, whether that's in selection or the way they play the game. It might be a little bit more French in that they know they've got to do something different to beat England.
They will want to make it frenetic, flinging the ball left, right and centre. Are we going to get suckered into that or are we going to have the players on the pitch to say “I don't care what they're up to; when the ball is ours, we are going to control the game”? The new Owen Farrell, with his emotions firmly under control, is the man to do just that.
Which rugby position is your personality suited to?
IBM Watson Personality Insights software has analysed England players for the big five personality traits. Find out what position you are best suited to by taking the quiz below, produced in association with The Telegraph, and you could be in with a chance of winning England tickets.
|IBM Watson Personality Insights||Personality traits|
|Agreeableness||A person’s tendency to be compassionate towards and co-operative with others|
|Conscientiousness||A person’s tendency to act in an organised or thoughtful way|
|Extraversion||A person’s tendency to seek stimulation in the company of others|
|Emotional range||Also sometimes referred to as natural reactions, is the extent to which a person’s emotions shape their decision making|
|Openness||Openness is the extent to which a person is open to experiencing different activities|
Let’s put smart to work
IBM is the Official AI Partner of England Rugby. During this year’s Quilter Internationals, England Rugby, IBM and it’s AI platform for business, Watson, are discovering which personality traits are key for the England squad’s success on the pitch. Find out what other smart technologies IBM and the RFU are working on at ibm.com/rugby