I remember getting into a conversation with a group of ex-players a few years ago at half-time in a game Cork were struggling in. One mentioned they’d have to fix the openness at the back. Another said they weren’t committing enough players up the pitch for attacks. No prizes for guessing which positions their history was in and it’s hardly a massive shock that a player who has spent maybe 10-15 years looking at a game with a very specific job in mind might carry those ideas into how his team might set up and what becomes priority on the field.
A team where possession stats are valued might be inclined to take safer options in possession. Match analysis that calls out lost possessions or riskier plays probably creates an unwillingness/ inability to play off the cuff (Hello Irish rugby 2019). On the other hand, a team where players are consistently encouraged to make runs into spaces that lure kick-passes and where that message is constantly being reinforced about moving the ball quickly into those areas will respond.