In a shocking turn of events, it appears as though Warren Gatland’s absence from the international rugby scene may be short lived.
The former Wales and Lions coach looks set to be announced as the next head coach of the USA Eagles. Currently serving as the Director of Rugby for the Chiefs in Super Rugby, there has been persistent rumours that Gatland looks set to take on the immensely challenging role.
As the USA gears up to host the first Rugby World Cup on American soil, the need for a culture setting superstar coach would appear to be a key ingredient to success.
Successful in every stop of his coaching career, Gatland remains one of world rugby’s preeminent coaching figures and it would appear that he still has an itch to coach test rugby.
The Chiefs are currently riding high in fourth position of this season’s Super Rugby campaign following a down year in 2021.
Whilst the challenging facing Gatland should he take on the Eagles role, there are few coaches in world rugby better suited.
Take for example the regularity with which Wales and the Lions achieved success under his tutelage.
Seeing the current run of form that the Welsh national side are on in addition to the issues that the regions are finding themselves in, Gatland’s performance is even more impressive.
Success for the USA currently could come in several forms, however, to capture the imagination of the American public one would feel that at the very least an appearance in the quarterfinal is a necessity. Bearing in mind that the USA has never achieved these heights the challenge facing any prospective coach is significant.
Speaking to RugbyPass current USA head coach Gary Gold said, “It is brilliant that this has happened and there is now something tangible that we can touch and move towards. But if you are trying to build confidence in the host country then it is important you are competing at World Cups.”
“It is important we are flying the flag at all the World Cups and each tournament is a steppingstone towards 2031. You want to give guys as much experience of World Cups as possible to have that knowledge and understanding and if you did miss out on one of those tournaments it wouldn’t be a game changer it just wouldn’t be ideal.” He concluded.
With this being said, if you squint hard enough the continued development of the MLR and with Gatland at the helm it is not an impossible mission.