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Tuesday Dec 6, 2022

Who's next? List of possible candidates to be next England head coach

This week has been far from quiet in the world of rugby. On Monday, Warren Gatland sensationally returned to Welsh Rugby and a day later Eddie Jones was sacked by England – but who are the favourites to succeed him?

England Rugby have already announced that Richard Cockerill will take the Head Coach position over the short term, before Jones’ official successor is chosen. Despite only currently being in the position as interim, Cockerill is one of the favourites for the position, being a proven winner at both Leicester and Edinburgh.

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Significantly, Cockerill has been a part of the England coaching setup under Jones for the past few years. This is a fact which will prove to help on hinder Cockerill in his pursuit of the England job as he clearly understands the current setup but has an undeniable link to the previous regime which clearly the RFU want to move away from.

So that’s option 1…

Before focusing on the out and out favourtie, some names which have been connected with the job are:

  • Rob Baxter: A man who has been popular amongst fans for the England job in the future, especially now he has taken a back seat at Exeter. But has this come too early for him considering he has never been involved in International Rugby?
  • Mark McCall: In terms of domestic success, nobody comes anywhere near the achievements of Mark McCall. The creator and driving force behind the machine of Saracens, and a manager who has proven he can get the best out of certain players Eddie Jones could not.
  • Sir Clive Woodward: admittedly this option is probably a rumour sparked by the return of Gatland to Wales… then again, Sir Clive coming back to England, steadying the ship and winning another world cup will definitely have the romanticists on board.
  • Andy Farrell: Another brilliant coach England saw slip through their fingers. It is highly unlikely that he will leave his current position with Ireland, but that won’t stop England trying.
  • Ronan O’Gara: Manager of the current Champions of Europe. Although young in his managerial career, his great results speak for themselves, and he has publicly said that the England job is an attractive one.
  • Scott ‘Razor’ Robinson: Described as ‘Exactly the man England need’ – The current Crusaders manger is a hugely popular figure and a brilliant, ruthless head coach. His current contract with the Crusaders and New Zealand Rugby Union is until 2024, and he is also heavily linked with the New Zealand national job – menaing if England did want to hire him, they would be met with stiff competition.

While these are all brilliant coaches and managers in their own right, their is a clear favourite for the England Head Coach job, Steve Borthwick.

Borthwick already seems a perfect fit for the role, with his career seeming to build to this very point. Experienced at international level after working as Eddie Jones’ deputy for several years, he understands how this role’s demands with differ from the domestic game.

He also has inside knwoledge of the England national setup and will likely have already built relationships with a large number of the players.

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Borthwick also has proven success as the main man after winning the Premiership Title last year with a Leicester side that he inherited in disarray. It is likely that Borthwick will bring his backroom staff, including Kevin Sinfield, to England if he gets the job.

So is this vacant position already filled or could one of the unlikely candidates make a bolt?

 

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