Are you a team player or the single-minded type?

I was pondering that in the clubhouse at Moseley last week while chatting to an illustrious old England rugby international.

It began when I teased him - he was a hard man who could dish it out and take it at the same time - that, with cameras pointing at you from all angles now in top class sport, he would surely have had to modify his style were he playing today.

Not so, he insisted.

There were still ways of smacking people on the side with no-one else being any the wiser.

Personally I never saw any point in hitting an opponent on the rugby pitch unless they had hit me first. What satisfaction is there in winning a game purely because you managed to maim enough of the other side? You'd be better going into boxing.

But perhaps that was one of the many reasons why I was never a good enough rugby player.

And I certainly wasn't going to argue with him - he's much bigger and harder than me still.

He played around 20 times for England and England lost about half those matches. But in the personal war with his immediate counterpart he won all but one. And, he pointed out, had everyone else of the XV been as successful then England would on each occasion have been victorious.

Being focused is even more important now the game is professional, he claims. You play for and look after No.1 because ultimately it is your livelihood.

I could never have been that ruthless - yet another reason why I never made it.

For me, whether on the rugby park or putting together the business pages of this paper, teamwork coupled with respect for the person is all important.

Yet there are times when it is right to be selfish.

In rugby there is the moment to pass the ball and the moment to go full tilt for the line; in business there are occasions when you have to say 'I'm right and we're doing it this way'.

Handled correctly, the sum of the parts should always produce more than a collection of individuals can offer, but then individual flair and brilliance can make that crucial difference.

Tunnel vision is not always a bad thing.

If you get the timing right. What the management of Peugeot-Citroen have done in shutting the Ryton plant in Coventry is yet another industrial example of callousness.

They have ignored any concept of the team and presented a fait accompli.

Months and months ago they could have hinted that the factory was on the line and given unions, workers, Government and industrial agencies a genuine opportunity to present a properly-constructed case for a future.

Like so many managements there is only one interpretation of a team player - theirs.

And it has suited them to ignore the hopes and aspirations of the many to sprint those final yards, announce closure and shut out opposition. Game over.

It wouldn't do any good but it's just the sort of management who deserve a right smacking.