Gareth Ellis is coached by one of the greatest rugby league coaches of the modern era, Tim Sheens. The remarkable Mr Sheens is a coach who has won three Australian premierships with the Canberra Raiders (1989, 1990, 1994) and one with the Wests Tigers (2005). His player-pupils have included Mal Meninga, Laurie Daley, Ricky Stuart, Glen Lazarus, Ruben Wiki, David Furner, Bradley Clyde, John Ferguson, Ken Nagas, Benji Marshall, Scott Prince, Brett Hodgson, Robbie Farah, and Patrick Richards. Tim Sheens is now the coach of World Champions Australia. How could Sheens' superior wisdom and experience not have had an effect on Gareth Ellis?
Sam Burgess is coached by John Lang, who coached Cronulla from 1994-2001 (taking them to the semi finals every year except two), and who later won an NRL premiership with the Penrith Panthers in 2003. His player-pupils have included Preston Campbell, David Peachey, Richie Barnett, Craig Gower, Ryan Girdler, Rhys Wesser, Luke Lewis, and Tony Puletua. How could Lang's wisdom and experience not have had an effect on Sam Burgess?
Coaching facilities in Australia of course far outstrip those available in Britain. These also influence player performance.