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    The sought-after Lee Blackett is cautious about the future after Wasp's grief

    Lee Blackett has freshened up after moving from head coach of the Wasps to assistant coach of the Scarlets after the Premier League club collapsed. Photo: Dan Mullan/Getty. Images

    Lee Blackett never went through all seven stages of grief over Wasp's death. Within two weeks of the Premier League club going bust last October, the head coach was named Scarlets defensive coach, ensuring he had little time to think.

    There is still an ongoing sense of sadness over life upside down and unfulfilled potential, but surprisingly little bitterness.

    “I never got to the anger stage,” Blackett said. “Maybe because I was at my next job, I didn’t have the strength to be angry. If you think about it carefully, I can understand why you're angry about it. I never allowed myself to think like that.

    “I don't think too much. As a coach, you are programmed to think about your next job, but when you run into someone or get a message, everything goes back to normal. Everyone involved with Wasps will have a special relationship because of what they've been through. When you're in shit together, it brings you closer. Unfortunately, we never got out of this shit, but this connection will remain forever.

    Blackett was known as one of the premier league's most forward-thinking managers, and his arrival to Wales coincided with a transformation in the Scarlets' season. They have won nine out of 10 matches since the start of the year, culminating in their spectacular 32-30 loss to French giants Clermont-Auvergne in the quarter-finals of the Challenge Cup. The Glasgow Warriors stand between the Scarlets and the first European final.

    Lee Blackett's arrival at the Scarlets coincided with the rise of their form and condition. Photo: Ryan Hiscott/Getty Images

    No wonder Blackett is one of the most popular trainers. His name is associated with roles in the Bristol Bears, Newcastle Falcons and Edinburgh. There will be less of a better English short-term deal to play in attack in England than Blackett, even if it looks like Steve Borthwick will move to the state.

    Blackett looks to confirm his future in the coming weeks. “I took my time sorting things out because everything we've been through in the last six to eight months has made me cautious about my next decision,” Blackett said. “The only thing I've learned is that I really enjoyed my time at the Scarlets and we'll see what happens in the next couple of months.”

    The transition from head coach back to assistant position was seamless thanks to him sharing many of the same ideas and philosophies as head coach Duane Peel and what he calls the Scarlets' “ridiculous coaching ability” . Blackett doesn't seem to be bothered by his ego for not being in charge anymore.

    “I'll give him my opinion, but if Dwayne wants to move in a certain direction, we go there,” Blackett said. “My opinion is not always correct. I will always try to back up my opinion with evidence, but if I can't sell it, then I sit quietly with a coach who goes in the other direction. I am not so arrogant as to think that my opinion is always correct. Sometimes you may run into trouble thinking this way.”

    The change of scenery has refreshed Blackett in many ways, from the extra thinking time he gets during the more than three-hour trip to Llanelli to the huge variety of defensive systems in the Rugby United Championship. Most of all, Blackett liked the breaks in the season, which allowed him to train more in practice.

    “When you're in the Premier League, every week you think about 'how can we beat the next opponent?' and you don't spend enough time thinking about how I can improve our team this week,” he said. Blackett. . “It's all performance, performance, performance. The difference with the URC [United Rugby Championship] is that you have blocks of games and then quite large gaps, so you have time to review the previous block of games and try to make us better. You feel like you're constantly evolving and improving.

    “The arrogance of both leagues towards each other is insane. Open your eyes and look at them as completely different leagues and appreciate their differences, rather than constantly trying to reduce them by looking at attendance figures or the number of clubs in the European playoffs.

    Various Wasps In WhatsApp groups from time to time there are bursts of activity, and now the squad is scattered all over the place. However, if Blackett has one wish for the season besides winning the Scarlets Challenge Cup, it's that his former teammate Jack Willis get his hands on the trophy with Toulouse. “Jack was so passionate about the Wasps and so desperate to win a trophy with the Wasps,” Blackett said. “He never succeeded in realizing this aspiration, but if he does it with Toulouse, I will pay for him.”

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