Hawthorn have turned to rugby union world champions New Zealand for inspiration as they prepare to launch their 2019 premiership assault.

Defender Ben Stratton said coach Alastair Clarkson and his staff instructed the players to read up on the All Blacks.

Hawks players were given copies of the book Legacy, author James Kerr’s look at the keys to sustained success, maintaining world-class standards, handling pressure and training to win at the top level.

A renowned innovator and motivator, Clarkson takes a close interest in international sports and has famously adopted tactics from other codes, such as soccer, and adapted them for use at Hawthorn.

Stratton read Legacy while on a surfing trip in Indonesia and relaxing at his parents’ home in WA’s South West before returning to Melbourne late last month.

“We like looking at different sports and the All Blacks are a strong organisation,” Stratton said. “It was a good read about the way they go about it.”

Stratton is one of the leading candidates to take over the Hawthorn captaincy from 275-gamer Jarryd Roughead, who stepped down last week.

The 29-year-old, drafted from East Perth but originally from Busselton, was one of four players supporting Roughead in the leadership group last season, along with Jack Gunston and vice-captains Isaac Smith and Liam Shiels.

The Hawks will not appoint a new skipper until February, when players will read out their votes on a 5-4-3-2-1- basis in front of their teammates.

Stratton would welcome the role if voted in but said he did not have a burning desire to succeed Roughead.

“There’s a big summer to get through and I’ll just take it as it comes,” he said. “It doesn’t really bother me too much.”

Stratton missed Hawthorn’s semifinal defeat to Melbourne because of a hamstring injury but was on full duties when senior players checked in for pre-season on Monday.

Source

https://www.perthnow.com.au/sport/hawthorn-hawks/hawthorn-dip-into-the-secrets-of-the-all-blacks-success-ng-b881044759z