Form Wales and Lions head coach Warren Gatland could be set for a shock take over as England head coach should the RFU decide to move on from Eddie Jones.
According to Daily Mail reports, Gatland “understood to be open to taking charge of England on a caretaker basis” heading into next year’s Rugby World Cup.
According to the reports in the Daily Mail, Gatland would lead an England camp which could include current Leicester Tigers head coach Steve Borthwick as an assistant.
Borthwick would then be in line to take over the reins following the conclusion of the tournament in France.
Outside of Gatland, current Crusaders head coach Scott Robertson and La Rochelle boss Ronan O’Gara have been considered as the two favourites alongside Borthwick for the role.
Since then, reports coming out of France are that O’Gara is planning to remain in La Rochelle and looks set to sign a contract extension through to 2027.
This extension makes sense if the Irish legend was planning to take over his home country as current Ireland head coach Andy Farrell’s contract has signed an extension through to 2025.
Reverting back to the here and now, should the RFU boss’s despite to change tack and remove Jones then Gatland could prove to be the perfect short-term option.
Interestingly despite his long affiliation to Welsh Rugby, Gatland has previously not ruled out coach England speaking on The Good, The Bad and The Rugby podcast in October, Gatland said.
‘They wouldn’t let me back into Wales if I went and took on the enemy! I loved my time in Wales, but you never say never about anything and we’ll see what happens over the next few months.’
In Gatland’s favour over the other three favourites is his familiarity with the England players following his three stints with the British and Irish Lions as head coach. Throw into the mix his highly successful time with Wasps and you get a real picture of Gatland’s understanding of the English game.
There is also his track record at international level which none of the three candidates can compete with having won numerous Grand Slams, two World Cup semi-final appearances and his Lions success.