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England post 2022 6Ns, Aus tour and beyond

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Post by hugehandoff Sun 20 Mar 2022, 2:50 pm

First topic message reminder :

A few things whirling around my head and most start with the fact that Eddie is likely to remain in charge. There are probably a lack of available alternatives and the RFU won't want to fork out more money. Therefore, he is likely to remain in charge until the RWC 2023 is done. Bearing that in mind what are the positives and negatives?

Positives
We have some decent forwards for sure and the set piece should be fine. Underhill was terrific yesterday and I think a return to Curry and Underhill playing around a big 8 would be very handy. Dombrandt should be that man.
Our defence is excellent and the team spirit is clearly there.
We have loads of quality players who can hopefully return to fitness and form and add to the mix. All countries lose players and of course we have more resources than anyone bar France, but we will no doubt look completely different if Launchbury, Hill, Curry, Cowan-Dickie, Manu, May, Watson, Cockanasiga, Farrell are all fit and firing.
We have some foundations to build on and it is not Eddie's fault that we have not had Manu, or a decent replacement, available to add some power to our midfield.
There is enough time to fix many of these issues.

Negatives
Inconsistent selection
Inconsistent tactics and coaching team (too many coaching changes). Taking over from Lancaster Eddie was very clear on what to do. Restore England's traditional strengths in the set piece, defence and back it up with good kicking. Now we are totally confused as what we are trying to do.
The whole thing about playing players not in their best positions
Everyone is bored with Eddie's comments - we need less of him

Aus Tour
What a statement he made by winning 3-0 last time post a grand slam. Ruthless in taking off Burrell after 25 minutes. And they were missing Manu then as well and ended up with Ford, Farrell and Joseph so if we assume that Manu is unavailable then there is still hope. But we need players in their correct position and we need some consistency. Considering we don't have too many options at 12 and Slade is not really working out should we revert to Farrell? Not exactly a running beast, but at least he will be fresh and might just add some toughness. I would love to see Youngs left behind and to back 2 of our younger 9s. Genge, Dombrandt, Smith, Steward etc all need exposure to a tough away series.

Autumn
Based purely on form this is now the time to select the 23 Eddie sees as our strongest RWC team. All bets are off now and if a Mako or Bill V are playing well and showing the form and hunger to return then why not consider them. We might need then in the RWC group even if they are back ups to the regular starters. So maybe give them a game to see where they are? And then hopefully we can enjoy some consistent selection allied with a revamped game plan.

Anyone else hopeful that Eddie can resurrect the team and our RWC ambitions?

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 29 Mar 2022, 11:40 am

From the BBC and presume in itself from the podcast. Agree with the style needs to come on leaps and bounds. It's not good enough to try and bore your way to a title 3 years down the line, we need to play well and entertain while winning. I think he vastly undersells how good Jones is and personally I think Gleeson cannot avoid blame for the impact the backline had.

'Former England scrum-half Danny Care says change is needed at the top if the team are to close the gap on the world's best Test teams.

For the second successive year England had a losing record in the Six Nations, beaten in three of their five matches.

"Every other thing has changed - players, other coaches, backroom staff, physios - apart from one person," Care told Rugby Union Weekly.

"Something isn't quite working and it hasn't for a couple of years."

The Rugby Football Union has said it fully supports head coach Eddie Jones, who has a contract until the end of next year's Rugby World Cup in France.

Jones has overseen an overhaul of his squad over the past nine months, with the likes of Marcus Smith and Freddie Steward becoming first choice.

His coaching set-up and backroom staff have been through several upheavals during his six years in charge.

Harlequins player Care, who made his last England appearance in November 2018, says if Jones is to stay he needs to change his approach.

"I want England to be playing a brand of rugby that excites and inspires me," he added.

"I don't think they are being trusted enough to say their bit and do what they want to do - and we know there is a bit of fear factor in this camp.

"Eddie is not a bad coach, but something isn't quite working. He has to give the players a little more trust or give [attack coach] Martin Gleeson the trust to say this is how we are going to play.

"England have got an awful lot of work to do if they are going to be anywhere near the best teams."

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Post by mountain man Tue 29 Mar 2022, 11:47 am

I also listened to that - I think usually BBC Ruby Union Daily about the best around podcast wise - and I thought Care obviously thinks Jones should go and new coach in now but didn't quite want to say it out loud and totally burn all bridges. I doubt if Jones would ever pick him again but if he says in public Jones should go then he'd never pick him even if last fit 9 in England.
Only thing I don't like about BBC pod are Monye and Mclaughlin when she's on, clueless and annoying in equal measure.

Care also half jokingly putting himself forward as attack coach. England could do a lot worse as evidenced this 6N.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 29 Mar 2022, 11:59 am

Monye's class in my view. Like years ahead of some of the other backs that have wedged themselves into prime spots. Was watching the Saracens game at the weekend and was gobsmacked by how little Goode knows (though there's potential there that he is just trying to establish himself as the next sort of Stephen Jones, haven't had too much exposure to him).

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Post by mountain man Tue 29 Mar 2022, 1:01 pm

Sorry but can't stand him. Monotone, boring drone and he just plagiarises everyone else as far as I can make out. He'll latch onto a certain word or phrase and do it to death. "Nause" is a popular one amongst others. What makes it worse(for me) is he's like dogsh*t at the moment, literally everywhere and on everything.

Flatman I think is excellent, knowledgeable, self deprecating and funny when he needs to be. Topsy Ojo also good(both on highlights show of course).

I also like Tom Shanklin, if you don't already listen I recommend the Flats and Shanks pod. Excellent stuff, bit too much waffle at times but the rugby chat is very good.

Anyway, just personal taste I guess. I don't mind Butler and Davies on BBC but some hate them with a passion.
For commentary can't beat Andrew Cotter.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Tue 29 Mar 2022, 2:17 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:From the BBC and presume in itself from the podcast. Agree with the style needs to come on leaps and bounds. It's not good enough to try and bore your way to a title 3 years down the line, we need to play well and entertain while winning. I think he vastly undersells how good Jones is and personally I think Gleeson cannot avoid blame for the impact the backline had.

'Former England scrum-half Danny Care says change is needed at the top if the team are to close the gap on the world's best Test teams.

For the second successive year England had a losing record in the Six Nations, beaten in three of their five matches.

"Every other thing has changed - players, other coaches, backroom staff, physios - apart from one person," Care told Rugby Union Weekly.

"Something isn't quite working and it hasn't for a couple of years."

The Rugby Football Union has said it fully supports head coach Eddie Jones, who has a contract until the end of next year's Rugby World Cup in France.

Jones has overseen an overhaul of his squad over the past nine months, with the likes of Marcus Smith and Freddie Steward becoming first choice.

His coaching set-up and backroom staff have been through several upheavals during his six years in charge.

Harlequins player Care, who made his last England appearance in November 2018, says if Jones is to stay he needs to change his approach.

"I want England to be playing a brand of rugby that excites and inspires me," he added.

"I don't think they are being trusted enough to say their bit and do what they want to do - and we know there is a bit of fear factor in this camp.

"Eddie is not a bad coach, but something isn't quite working. He has to give the players a little more trust or give [attack coach] Martin Gleeson the trust to say this is how we are going to play.

"England have got an awful lot of work to do if they are going to be anywhere near the best teams."

Danny Care thinks players "need more say". It's almost like he couldn't keep his mouth shut and got dropped by the same England coach for that same opinion a few years ago and just can't let go... Maybe one day he'll stop grinding that axe.

Good player, shameless self promoter whenever he gets chance to do the podcast.

Re Goodey, reminds me of early Monye. Very little in the way of analysis, states the obvious with occasional anecdote. Monye has improved over time though, maybe Goode will. I thought Goode did alright but he was paired with Dayglo who is so awful he would make anybody sound good.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 29 Mar 2022, 3:08 pm

You could understand some bitterness particularly when you see what effect listening to players had for Harlequins.

Let's hope Goode improves, he got far too caught up I'm saying Vunipola should have been carded without actually explaining why. He was suggesting that deliberate knock ons are automatic yellows not even considering a line break which is the standard there for a card. I'm a big fan of commentators and analysts not leading casual viewers astray.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Tue 29 Mar 2022, 5:17 pm

Care is obviously bitter but he's not wrong. He's been the best scrum half by a distance for the last 4 years but hasn't had a sniff because of a tiff with Jones.

Monye is quite awful on comms but he has a good sense of humour away from the mic. Agree on Goodey....he's turned into a bit of a chopper.

Flatman is probably the pick, I like his and Shanklins podcast as well as the eggchaser one. The Rugby pod seems to be targeting teenagers who chop pints and talk about pubic hair every 5 mins....it was funny for about 3 minutes.

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Post by yappysnap Tue 29 Mar 2022, 8:33 pm

Care does seem pretty on the money, bitter or not there's something wrong with the set up and execution of England and it seems to come from the top.

Obviously i'm biased but he's a better attacking player then most of the guys in the squad, and if he thinks there's faults then there's faults. He's shown his skill and leadership at Quins and it's telling that Jones couldn't ever work him out or work with him.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 30 Mar 2022, 4:00 am

It's fairly obvious the attack game isn't working but when the players are being allowed to play unscripted after the first two phases I'm not sure how much more say you could give them. It's almost gone the other way and is now too much emphasis on the players to come up with something. We look better when we have more structure.

Care's kicking game was never good enough, he struggled to control the game and still does. Great off the bench but didn't work as a starter. If he'd kept his mouth shut we could have certainly done with his impact off the bench in recent years.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 30 Mar 2022, 4:24 am

Ignoring the obvious thing about scrum halfs and England I do find it odd the thing with him and Jones. I'd love to hear more detail on why Care wasn't picked these last few years. Jones doesn't stroke me as someone unafraid to be challenged. Look at the guys he has always chosen to work with and his demand for leaders to step up. Just doesn't quite fit with then being affronted if someone doesn't bow down.

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Post by Poorfour Wed 30 Mar 2022, 6:51 am

formerly known as Sam wrote:It's fairly obvious the attack game isn't working but when the players are being allowed to play unscripted after the first two phases I'm not sure how much more say you could give them. It's almost gone the other way and is now too much emphasis on the players to come up with something. We look better when we have more structure.

Playing with structure is always easier than playing (effectively) without it, and the learning curve for the latter is much, much longer and steeper.

I have no doubt that Eddie could hand the England players an attacking structure and have them playing far better in a couple of weeks, but is that enough to win the RWC? He clearly thinks not: systems can be worked out and defensive plans put in place. Pro players talk about patterns: they aim to recognise the pattern that the opposition are following and do something that will cause it problems, whether in attack or defence.

He and the RFU are making a calculated bet that by October 2023 they can have 33 players (and a few spares) who can read the game well enough to pick good lines on the fly without a set pattern. That means there are no patterns, which means it's much harder for defenders to make good choices, because they have to work out what's going on rather than recognise a pattern. That means more defensive mistakes or more accurately, more situations where defenders will apply a response that is correct for part of what the attack is doing but leaves holes elsewhere. And in Smith (and potentially Ford, if he can be nudged into playing without a system) they have a fly half who can make accurate decisions very late if he has enough options to choose between.

As someone with a degree in psychology, I can tell you that you can train your brain so that it can very rapidly recognise a pattern and trigger a response to it, but it's much slower to respond to something it has to process consciously. The whole aim of the system is to present defences with things to which there's no easily recognised answer, at which point one of two things will happen: they will hesitate, or they will lock into the most familiar response. (This is how major disasters like air crashes often happen: the pilots are presented by something that looks a lot like a familiar situation but needs a different response - but under pressure they follow the routine but wrong pattern).

The flip side is that the attackers need to learn a different way of seeing the game and different reactions - instead of "what pattern do I need to fit into" it becomes "what can I do to offer the best option for my playmaker?" - it's a much more granular way of thinking and the players need to learn to react to different things than they are used to. We'll need more players who read defences rather than look to slot into a preset patterns.

That takes time, and there's a question mark around whether all of the current players will make the shift. We should expect some players to fall by the way side, and we should expect moments of brilliance interspersed with periods where they don't look like they know what they're doing. The thing to monitor is the balance between the two - if it's moving in the right direction over time, even with ups and downs, we can be a bit hopeful about it working in time for the RWC.
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Post by majesticimperialman Wed 30 Mar 2022, 11:30 am

I don't know how many players he will take to AUS. I just hope he give's every body ago at  some point and we come out with the best 23 players that can really take on all comers.

Manu should be no were near the squad England need to move on from him surely their is some one in England who can step up in his place?
If He Eddie Jones gets the same result as he did in  n 2016 no one will care   about the last 2 6ns results.
He Eddie Jones got England to the final  of the last RWC what is to say he could not do it again

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Post by yappysnap Wed 30 Mar 2022, 4:16 pm

Poorfour wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:It's fairly obvious the attack game isn't working but when the players are being allowed to play unscripted after the first two phases I'm not sure how much more say you could give them. It's almost gone the other way and is now too much emphasis on the players to come up with something. We look better when we have more structure.

Playing with structure is always easier than playing (effectively) without it, and the learning curve for the latter is much, much longer and steeper.

I have no doubt that Eddie could hand the England players an attacking structure and have them playing far better in a couple of weeks, but is that enough to win the RWC? He clearly thinks not: systems can be worked out and defensive plans put in place. Pro players talk about patterns: they aim to recognise the pattern that the opposition are following and do something that will cause it problems, whether in attack or defence.

He and the RFU are making a calculated bet that by October 2023 they can have 33 players (and a few spares) who can read the game well enough to pick good lines on the fly without a set pattern. That means there are no patterns, which means it's much harder for defenders to make good choices, because they have to work out what's going on rather than recognise a pattern. That means more defensive mistakes or more accurately, more situations where defenders will apply a response that is correct for part of what the attack is doing but leaves holes elsewhere. And in Smith (and potentially Ford, if he can be nudged into playing without a system) they have a fly half who can make accurate decisions very late if he has enough options to choose between.

As someone with a degree in psychology, I can tell you that you can train your brain so that it can very rapidly recognise a pattern and trigger a response to it, but it's much slower to respond to something it has to process consciously. The whole aim of the system is to present defences with things to which there's no easily recognised answer, at which point one of two things will happen: they will hesitate, or they will lock into the most familiar response. (This is how major disasters like air crashes often happen: the pilots are presented by something that looks a lot like a familiar situation but needs a different response - but under pressure they follow the routine but wrong pattern).

The flip side is that the attackers need to learn a different way of seeing the game and different reactions - instead of "what pattern do I need to fit into" it becomes "what can I do to offer the best option for my playmaker?" - it's a much more granular way of thinking and the players need to learn to react to different things than they are used to. We'll need more players who read defences rather than look to slot into a preset patterns.

That takes time, and there's a question mark around whether all of the current players will make the shift. We should expect some players to fall by the way side, and we should expect moments of brilliance interspersed with periods where they don't look like they know what they're doing. The thing to monitor is the balance between the two - if it's moving in the right direction over time, even with ups and downs, we can be a bit hopeful about it working in time for the RWC.

Tbh it sounds a lot like gambling everything on winning the RWC and throwing away the games before that, something that I as a fan aren't particularly happy with. I want to see an England team that goes out to win every game, not one that could be well into a long losing streak before we suddenly bring it all together at the RWC (hopefully). I get to some it's the be all and end all, and the RFU seem unhealthily obsessed with it, but I just don't care that much. I'd much prefer the triple crown, 6N's consistently.

Also this reminds me a lot of Brian Ashtons tactics at the 2007 RWC, which didn't go down too well. Obv the player group has changed, but players like structure, they like routine and they like having to think as little as possible, I just don't see this gameplan working.

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Post by Poorfour Wed 30 Mar 2022, 6:45 pm

It's not just about the RWC, it's about the longer term attacking strategy. They're trying to build a system that will last more than one RWC and get the most out of the talent coming through the system. They're clearly prepared to bet results in 2022 and early 2023 against that.

I suspect it is the sort of approach of which Ashton would have approved. And while he signed his own P45 by creating an environment where the players took over, it's hard to argue that the eventual result wasn't in line with his philosophy and actually a pretty decent result. An RWC Final is a good result; if Cueto's knee had been a little more infield or England hadn't lost so many players to injury it could have been a win.

It's rational for the RFU. They will sell out Twickenham regardless of results in the 6N, but winning the RWC would set up longer term demand. Whether you like it as a fan or not isn't going to change that.
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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 31 Mar 2022, 3:03 am

An individual fan perhaps not. Get a crowd turning and you will. I don't think Jones is writing off winning the 6 nations but I don't think he sees the world cup as his priority. Lose 3 games in the summer and 1 in the winter and he may not see the world cup though.

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Post by mountain man Thu 31 Mar 2022, 3:48 am

Unless he's changed his mind Jones has always banked everything on RWC2023, that's been his #1 priority since RWC2019.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 31 Mar 2022, 4:09 am

Sorry added a don't by mistake. I do think that's his main aim!

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 01 Apr 2022, 4:21 am

Just seen Foden has retired https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/60935812

Very good player in his pomp and that great time that despite overall dodgy teams we had a great run of full backs in him, Armitage and Brown.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Fri 01 Apr 2022, 5:10 am

Poorfour wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:It's fairly obvious the attack game isn't working but when the players are being allowed to play unscripted after the first two phases I'm not sure how much more say you could give them. It's almost gone the other way and is now too much emphasis on the players to come up with something. We look better when we have more structure.

Playing with structure is always easier than playing (effectively) without it, and the learning curve for the latter is much, much longer and steeper.

I have no doubt that Eddie could hand the England players an attacking structure and have them playing far better in a couple of weeks, but is that enough to win the RWC? He clearly thinks not: systems can be worked out and defensive plans put in place. Pro players talk about patterns: they aim to recognise the pattern that the opposition are following and do something that will cause it problems, whether in attack or defence.

He and the RFU are making a calculated bet that by October 2023 they can have 33 players (and a few spares) who can read the game well enough to pick good lines on the fly without a set pattern. That means there are no patterns, which means it's much harder for defenders to make good choices, because they have to work out what's going on rather than recognise a pattern. That means more defensive mistakes or more accurately, more situations where defenders will apply a response that is correct for part of what the attack is doing but leaves holes elsewhere. And in Smith (and potentially Ford, if he can be nudged into playing without a system) they have a fly half who can make accurate decisions very late if he has enough options to choose between.

As someone with a degree in psychology, I can tell you that you can train your brain so that it can very rapidly recognise a pattern and trigger a response to it, but it's much slower to respond to something it has to process consciously. The whole aim of the system is to present defences with things to which there's no easily recognised answer, at which point one of two things will happen: they will hesitate, or they will lock into the most familiar response. (This is how major disasters like air crashes often happen: the pilots are presented by something that looks a lot like a familiar situation but needs a different response - but under pressure they follow the routine but wrong pattern).

The flip side is that the attackers need to learn a different way of seeing the game and different reactions - instead of "what pattern do I need to fit into" it becomes "what can I do to offer the best option for my playmaker?" - it's a much more granular way of thinking and the players need to learn to react to different things than they are used to. We'll need more players who read defences rather than look to slot into a preset patterns.

That takes time, and there's a question mark around whether all of the current players will make the shift. We should expect some players to fall by the way side, and we should expect moments of brilliance interspersed with periods where they don't look like they know what they're doing. The thing to monitor is the balance between the two - if it's moving in the right direction over time, even with ups and downs, we can be a bit hopeful about it working in time for the RWC.

I understand that and it's actually similar to what Tigers tend to do where they play a couple of phases of structure and then look to the flyhalf to marshall the team in attack and direct things. Which is often why you are Ford and Burns stood behind the attack shouting and pointing moving the team into position. It doesn't tend to be massively efficient. Tigers either score fairly quickly in terms of phases or get turned over. There's doesn't tend to be a large number of phases where they were the opposition down, unless it's later in the game where the top quality S&C coach tends to see us fitter than the opposition. Tigers also play a very rigid tactical game outside of that attack which would probably not be very appreciated by most England fans who aren't fans of Eddie's kick game.

England trying to do the same makes sense in principle but not practice. Tigers are trying to do this in the Prem where the players work hand in hand for months at a time and it's still not completely clicked plus Tigers have a pretty dominant set piece game to work from. England have a good but not dominant set piece and weeks to get players that aren't always the same in the squad instead of months. Eddie has also gone with Smith a player that excels in a system that is designed around giving him numerous options and letting him select on the fly, it's a big ask for a young flyhalf in a makeshift backline to find the moves and direct the players and then still choose the right options.

It'll be interesting to see how this summer goes as if the attack still falls flat Eddie is running out of time to go towards a plan B before the world cup as any more structured attack will have to be complex enough to challenge international defences who are looking for patterns. He might be able to stretch to the AIs in terms of the unstructured experiment but at some point of it's not working he's going to have to change things up because no performance leading up to the world cup and then no performance at the world cup will go down very badly.

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Post by Rugby Fan Fri 01 Apr 2022, 5:19 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Just seen Foden has retired https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/60935812

Very good player in his pomp and that great time that despite overall dodgy teams we had a great run of full backs in him, Armitage and Brown.
Always enjoyed seeing him play. However, I'll always wonder how his career might have gone if he had stuck with scrum half.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 01 Apr 2022, 7:21 am

'Tigers also play a very rigid tactical game outside of that attack which would probably not be very appreciated by most England fans who aren't fans of Eddie's kick game.'

Nothing wrong with kicking if you do it well. Shouldn't be kicking good ball away though, whether that's by tactics or bad choices.


He had a pretty decent career anyway RF, but would have been interesting to see, along with Geordies What If Simmonds was a back. I see that the younger Barrett brother is turning out at inside centre this weekend so there are a few teams still experimenting with positional changes leading into the world cup. Presuming that NZ have more of a say in that than England would, (complete guess).

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Post by Rugby Fan Fri 01 Apr 2022, 10:54 am

On the England coach issue, it always seems we get our timing wrong. When Andy Farrell left the England set-up, few really complained, and there were a number who believed he had been a malign influence on Lancaster, forcing him to select his son (which always seemed a bonkers theory to me). Now, quite a few pundits want him back. Some would also argue Lancaster has been a loss to English rugby. Even Mike Catt seems valued more, now that he is no longer with England.

For all the claims that the RFU has been grossly negligent in not employing Shaun Edwards, that matter has also been dogged with bad timing. When Edwards joined Gatland at Wales, he did so initially on a part-time basis. Pundits who now mock the RFU for offering Edwards the Saxons role in 2008, would have been aghast at the idea of appointing an England defence coach who was also running a Premiership club. The Saxons job was the most senior England post they could offer Edwards, while he wanted to stay with Wasps.

Edwards stayed with Wasps until November 2011, three weeks after the 2011 World Cup. A few days after he announced he was leaving Wasps, Martin Johnson resigned as England manager. For a brief moment, it had looked like Johnson would ask Edward to come into the England set-up but those chances were scuppered when Johnson himself left.

The main reason England didn't try and hire Edwards anyway is because they anticipated making a high profile coaching appointment, and assumed that coach would want final say over his team. Also, it was felt a factor in Johnson's failure is that he did not have a free hand over his coaching staff, and was left to work with the same people who had worked under Ashton. I can't find any pundits arguing at that time Edwards should have been offered a contract regardless.

By all accounts, Lancaster did ultimately want Edwards but he said he had already committed to Wales, and had no wish to go back on his word. Lancaster instead hired Andy Farrell, which was hardly a bad deal, given Gatland later decided to take Farrell rather than Edwards, on the 2013 Lions Tour.

When Eddie Jones decided not to keep Andy Farrell, should he have approached Edwards? Farrell left the England set-up on December 14th 2015. Four days earlier, on the 10th of December, Edwards had already signed a new four year deal with Wales.

Fast forward to the end of that contract, and Edwards was talking about a career change. Wales had overlooked him for the top job (not sure if he wanted it) and were baulking at offering another four year deal. Edwards spoke about trading up from defence coach, and opened talks with Wasps, before signing with Wigan.

Maybe England and Jones should have acted. At the time, though Jones was still in general good standing, and John Mitchell was keen to stay on. Not only that, it sounded like Edwards had his eye on a senior role, which his contract with Wigan seemed to confirm.

As we now know, Edwards probably would have been available if England had offered him a four year contract like France did. It turns out he was willing to go back on his word when a better offer came up. It doesn't sound like Edwards ever told England he was available on those terms but perhaps that's not his style. Some people prefer to be offered jobs instead of applying for them. Still, losing Edwards to France sounds less like the shambles it is often described as now, and more yet another case of bad timing.

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Post by majesticimperialman Fri 01 Apr 2022, 11:55 am

We 9england will only know if by not appointing Farrell, or Edwards was a mistake If they both (France Ireland) reach the final of the RW2C 2023.

At the moment France and Ireland are the no 1 and 2 teams in the northern hemisphere. Will they still be the 1/2 teams next year?

The RWC is 18 months away a lot can happen in 18 months.

Lets see what happen on the summer tour/s Will England, Ireland, France win all their games? will any pof them win any games?

It is a wait and see time at the moment.

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Post by doctor_grey Fri 01 Apr 2022, 3:20 pm

From the Telegraph, Saracens to ask for £32m if Mark McCall leaves Saracens to join England before his contract expires in 2025.  That's a lot of dough and probably takes him out of the running for EJ's replacement either now or after the RWC. Might be just an opening proactive bid which could be negotiated, but they will want compensation.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri 01 Apr 2022, 4:16 pm

Is McCall a genuine contender?

Funny for all he's done for Saracens I wouldn't have thought he was.

I just keep thinking Jones has it until the WC...then the Rfu are hoping one of Sanderson or Particularly Borthwick will have some silverware...

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Post by majesticimperialman Fri 01 Apr 2022, 5:24 pm

Re Mc call i honestly did not think he would be interested ion coaching England.

If any thing i would of thought he would be more interested in coaching Ireland Rather than England.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 01 Apr 2022, 5:35 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:Is McCall a genuine contender?

Funny for all he's done for Saracens I wouldn't have thought he was.

I just keep thinking Jones has it until the WC...then the Rfu are hoping one of Sanderson or Particularly Borthwick will have some silverware...
Given they've said they want to employ an Englihsman it's unlikely unless everyone else rules themselves out. I still pray they're just making noise and it's Robertson. If not I'd say McCall is the next best.

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Post by Rugby Fan Sat 02 Apr 2022, 5:45 am

[TL;DR: It's less about who becomes the next coach, and more about the structure the RFU puts around him]

Few unions who have a good, consistent track record in selecting head coaches, so we know it can't be that easy.

Two of our most successful coaches, from the perspective of galvanizing an underperforming system, were Geoff Cooke and Clive Woodward. Neither were obvious candidates, with Woodward arguably a very ambitious choice.

While it would be good to see a Premiership coach come through to the England job, we are still in our infancy when it comes to working out what qualities are needed to run the national side, and how to spot them. It wasn't so long ago that Jim Mallinder was in pole position, because of his success at Saints and with the Saxons. Now, nobody mentions him, and he's only a couple of years older than Mark McCall.

A lot of older heads here will probably remember the anticipation when Jack Rowell took over from Cooke, because Rowell presided over the golden age of Bath rugby. Though he had a good England record overall, I was disappointed we didn't seem to move on from the forward-dominated rugby under Cooke. Rowell was happy to play a short openside like Andy Robinson at Bath but said Neil Back was too small for England.

That was probably the first time we got to see how club success didn't translate smoothly to the national stage.

One of the most dismaying aspects of the post-Woodward era is the way coaching appointment decisions were very reactive, virtually unplanned, until Jones. This means we have never really had a chance to learn from experience what set-up best suits England in the professional era.

Andy Robinson's appointment was the obvious thing to do at short notice, and he was willing to accept the terms and conditions rejected by Woodward. The RFU's stance seemed to be that English rugby would always produce decent players, so it shouldn't take a genius to coach them. Continuity also sounded like a good idea.

When the wheels started to fall off, the media and public called for Brian Ashton to be bought out of his contract, and brought back to run the attack, which had never looked as good since he left Woodward's team. However, when Robinson was sacked, Ashton was the most senior coach, so was promoted away from the attack coach job he had been specifically engaged to do.

Despite buying Ashton out of his Bath contract to work his magic on the attack, England got less than seven months of him in that role before putting him in a job he wasn't suited for, and then, after clumsily sacking him, giving him back the job he'd originally been doing at the RFU before he had decided to return to Bath. A comedy of errors.

Martin Johnson's appointment was a left field choice but, unlike Cooke and Woodward, he had no real coaching philosophy. England's brand value had fallen with sponsors and corporate supporters as we went from defeat to defeat. By appointing Johnson, the RFU placed more importance on trying to shore up the brand, than addressing performance.

The RFU still seemed to think the sheer weight of England's player resources and financial sway would inevitably turn into on-pitch success. England didn't need great coaching, just not bad coaching, with the implication that Robinson and Ashton had, unfortunately, just been bad coaches. Consequently, they assumed a consequential figure like Johnson was sufficient. Despite the extensive review after the 2011 World Cup, it's unclear we moved any closer to understanding what England needed from a coaching team.

After Johnson walked out, Lancaster was a caretaker appointment. It is hard to remember now that the RFU appointed a 5-man committee (including Ian McGeechan and Quins boss Conor O'Shea) to look at recruiting a high profile coaching name, which ended up concluding that Lancaster should keep the job.

In some respects, the profile of Lancaster's tenure was good. Lancaster himself was brought through the RFU system (albeit not intended for the top job, at least at that early stage). He surrounded himself with a team of promising English coaches, all of whom still enjoy good reputations in the sport. On the biggest stage, however, the team came up short.

The RFU decided it could no longer take a chance on seeing whether someone could cope with the international rugby scene, and emptied the wallet to hire a candidate who had shown he could. That was a very narrow lesson to draw, and we are in danger of making a similar mistake again next time.

Eddie Jones was given a conflicting set of objectives. He was asked to bring success at the World Cup but also to develop some English coaches. It seemed daft to hire Jones to achieve a specific World Cup goal, then try and influence how he went about it. Sure enough, Jones soon ignored the second part of his brief, very likely reasoning that getting the first task done would be sufficient.

He was right, because he got reappointed. There were only a few voices at the time who though keeping Eddie was a bad idea. Now, of course, there are are many, so it's worth thinking about why we did.

The main reason was turmoil at the RFU. Jones was appointed by Ian Ritchie, who resigned just over a year later. His successor, Steve Brown, paid lip service to Ritchie's original hiring and succession plan (i.e. Jones would groom an English successor) but he was only around until 2018, when he resigned because of Twickenham's financial woes. Nigel Melville stepped in as interim CEO, until Bill Sweeney was appointed a few months ahead of the 2019 World Cup.

With four RFU CEOs in a two year period, it's no wonder Ritchie's succession plan failed, as there was no-one to consistently monitor it, and no-one keeping an eye out on the contract status of potential candidates.

Remember, the RFU had originally intended to have a Director of Rugby who would report to the CEO, and oversee the coaching team. In theory, Rob Andrew oversaw Martin Johnson, and Stuart Lancaster, though Andrew has sometimes contested whether he really had line responsibility. Part of the mess at the RFU is that roles like this were never clear.

Eddie Jones insisted he would report only to the RFU CEO, and not someone inbetween. With so much CEO turnover, there was no-one to hold him to account over training methods, losing coaching staff, and development of players.

Bill Sweeney was appointed in May 2019. His experience with Jones from the start was almost universally positive, as the team had returned to winning ways, made it to the World Cup final, beating NZ along the way. It's hardly surprising he ignored all previous succession plans. In fact, when asked whether the RFU's plan to have Jones's successor in the set-up by 2020, Sweeney said he wasn't aware that there had ever been a plan. No-one appears to have told him the terms under which Jones had originally been engaged.

Worse, when Jones was reappointed, it doesn't appear that Sweeney and the RFU thought of much else than the next World Cup. There were no performance or development targets for the intervening years, so there's no real means to hold Jones to account for those poor Six Nations results.

Do we really want the next England coach reporting directly to the CEO? It is widely accepted that Stuart Lancaster got overwhelmed by the responsibilities he had outside the direct coaching role, and could have used some support. Eddie Jones, with his unholy working day, and excessive demands on his staff, has not needed that support but maybe the next man will. What were the aspects of the job which overwhelmed Lancaster? Do they need to be done, or did Lancaster make work for himself? Who should do them, if not the head coach?

If we don't need a Director of Rugby at the RFU, what was wrong with the idea beyond Eddie Jones refusing to report to one? If we do think that structure will help us, then maybe we should get it in place before we think about appointing the next head coach. Personally, I'm not sure about the structure, but we should do more than just try and aim it at the World Cup every four years. We've got all these bits which need to fit together better, including age group internationals, the dormant England A programme, and relationships with the club game.

Maybe appointing someone like Steve Borthwick or Rob Baxter would see some of these pieces fall into place, as they put their own imprint on the job. If the RFU just planned a bit better, surely we wouldn't need to leave it all to chance.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Mon 04 Apr 2022, 1:29 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:'Tigers also play a very rigid tactical game outside of that attack which would probably not be very appreciated by most England fans who aren't fans of Eddie's kick game.'

Nothing wrong with kicking if you do it well. Shouldn't be kicking good ball away though, whether that's by tactics or bad choices.

I think the difference is winning. Kicking is fine when you're winning. If you are both losing and boring to watch then it's tough to take. There have been games where Tigers have struggled in attack and just kicking in to the 22 with an organised defensive line chasing up forcing a kick to touch. Back the lineout drive and if it doesn't work repeat until it does. I think the RFU would prefer a more expansive style to follow on from Eddie. Borthwick worked under him and there's some definite similarities on terms of their pragmatic game plans.

I'd have hoped for Robertson personally, not really sure I see the point of the next coach having to be English. Seems pointless ego rubbish from the RFU wanting to try and prove that their system encourages English coaches to develop. I think Robertson could bring something different to the England set up whilst maintaining a physical set piece approach. Otherwise we're really only looking at Baxter as the other experienced options Mallinder, Cockerill, Diamond aren't seen as particularly innovative and likely to take us forward and the younger options Borthwick, Skivington, Sanderson have barely been in the top job five minutes.

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Post by Collapse2005 Tue 05 Apr 2022, 8:30 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:
GeordieFalcon wrote:Is McCall a genuine contender?

Funny for all he's done for Saracens I wouldn't have thought he was.

I just keep thinking Jones has it until the WC...then the Rfu are hoping one of Sanderson or Particularly Borthwick will have some silverware...
Given they've said they want to employ an Englihsman it's unlikely unless everyone else rules themselves out. I still pray they're just making noise and it's Robertson. If not I'd say McCall is the next best.

Seems ill advised for the RFU to say the sucessor will be English without having any candidates yet. Why restrict your candidate pool unnecessarily.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 05 Apr 2022, 10:51 am

It's odd in so much that some people really don't like 'project' players etc but are happy with a foreign manager. If the RFU are happy to play to the rules and allow Nathan Hughes etc to be picked why would they care if a McCall was picked. I'm still in the opinion that WR should bring in the exact same qualifications for coaches as players though, but while they are different why restrict as you say. Borthwick by the noises appears to be the favourite; if him and Baxter to decide not to apply though the RFU have done themselves a mischief.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 05 Apr 2022, 10:56 am

This just isn't a good look. From the BBC, Jones is back advising the Suntory. Probably be pretty difficult for the RFU to stop him as by the sounds of it it was a contractual agreement but surely someone is in his ear about the visual this gives?

'England coach Eddie Jones has resumed his consultancy work with Japanese club side Suntory Sungoliath following another disappointing Six Nations.

England lost three of their five games in finishing third this year, having managed only fifth in 2021.

"Eddie is over here at the moment helping us out. He's hard at work," Suntory coach Milton Haig said.

"He's not doing it because he wants money or praise. It's because he has a long affiliation with the club."

Jones' role with Tokyo-based Suntory goes back more than 20 years, with the Rugby Football Union (RFU) previously saying it was "aware and comfortable" with the arrangement.

New Zealand's Damian McKenzie and Australia's Samu Kerevi play for Suntory, along with several Japan internationals.

Japan are among England's pool-stage opponents at next year's World Cup.

"It's a storm in a tea cup. He's just a rugby man and is really keen to talk to rugby people and see what he can learn off them," said Haig.

"He gets a kick out of just helping out and having no expectations. That's probably a bit of rest for him in itself."

Jones warned England fly-half Marcus Smith about the dangers of off-field distractions in November, citing tennis player and US Open champion Emma Raducanu as an example of the offers that could follow success at a young age.

Jones, who also wrote a book on leadership last year, subsequently wrote to Raducanu to clarify that his comments were not meant as criticism.

The RFU last month said it "fully supports" Jones despite England's inconsistent form and results.'


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Post by formerly known as Sam Tue 05 Apr 2022, 11:28 am

That's virtually the same article that's been run previously about Jones and his consultancy roles. It's not unusual for him , he's been employed in some way or another by Suntory for something like 20 years. He even did a few sessions with Borthwick at Tigers on consultancy. 

A quick Google shows articles from 2020, 2021 and now 2022 all basically saying the same thing about his Japanese consultancy venture and the RFU saying they don't care.

Maybe he can go get some fresh ideas before the summer tour.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Tue 05 Apr 2022, 11:35 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:It's odd in so much that some people really don't like 'project' players etc but are happy with a foreign manager. If the RFU are happy to play to the rules and allow Nathan Hughes etc to be picked why would they care if a McCall was picked. I'm still in the opinion that WR should bring in the exact same qualifications for coaches as players though, but while they are different why restrict as you say. Borthwick by the noises appears to be the favourite; if him and Baxter to decide not to apply though the RFU have done themselves a mischief.

Good point on the project players Vs foreign head coach views, however, the idea of a qualifying period for coaches in line with players is a terrible idea if I'm understanding what you mean correctly. Think of the tier 2 and 3 nations trying to develop and then being told that they can't hire better coaches with no connection to that country.

Personally I'd like any England coaching set up to have a core of English representation but I'd not turn down bringing somebody in from outside EQ status if that person could add something unique. Scott Robertson would be that in my opinion. I'm still amazed the All Blacks didn't opt for him.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 05 Apr 2022, 11:46 am

It would be much better for those tier 2 and 3 nations to pick up the likes of Tommy Reffell without him moving there too.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Tue 05 Apr 2022, 11:47 am

I see Diamond has said Ted Hill will be focusing on Number 8 from now on.....I've wanted to see that for ages!

Will be very interesting to see how he goes...I think he could be excellent....

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Post by Collapse2005 Tue 05 Apr 2022, 1:47 pm

Not that it makes much difference really but I dont think any head coach has won the RWC coaching a team that isnt his own national team.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Tue 05 Apr 2022, 4:40 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:It would be much better for those tier 2 and 3 nations to pick up the likes of Tommy Reffell without him moving there too.

laughing actually laughed out loud at that. Very good. Tigers fans have fingers crossed for a new contract announcement soon, the retirement of Davies from the Scarlets is making us a bit nervous.

I was thinking more of Georgia hiring a Kiwi coach or Louis Deacon working with Spain's forwards previously, Cotter coaching Fiji etc. Taking skill sets outside of what that county would have had and adding value. Hopefully slowly making the world rugby scene more competitive a little bit at a time.

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Post by Rugby Fan Tue 05 Apr 2022, 10:22 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:That's virtually the same article that's been run previously about Jones and his consultancy roles. It's not unusual for him , he's been employed in some way or another by Suntory for something like 20 years. He even did a few sessions with Borthwick at Tigers on consultancy. 

A quick Google shows articles from 2020, 2021 and now 2022 all basically saying the same thing about his Japanese consultancy venture and the RFU saying they don't care.

Maybe he can go get some fresh ideas before the summer tour.

It's hard to take these attacks seriously. The same people worried about Jones working with potential competition, have no complaints when national coaches join the Lions, and spend two months working closely with some of the best players from three of our direct rivals.

It's usually the Telegraph leading the way with stories. They claim Jones has misprepresented his title as a consultant, after Milton Haig referred to him as Director of Rugby. From the very start of his association, Jones has been listed on the Suntory corporate website as "Director of Rugby (consulting)". It's even in English, for any journalist to double-check. They claim today Kerevi "admits learning England secrets", when all Kerevi actually said is that he is "trying to get the England secrets away from him". It's also a bit of a tell that the Telegraph is never concerned about the 16 or 17 Japanese national team squad members on Suntory's roster.

It's quite common for coaches to look for outside opportunities to develop their skills. There was a high profile case a few years ago, when Shaun Edwards was set to work with Toulon. Initially, the WRU approved it in a "career professional development capacity", but later blocked it, after concluding Toulon had expanded the job remit, and wanted too much from him.

As it happens. I do think any outside work needs to be closely monitored. This is another reason why there needs to be more discussion about what overall set-up suits England, and not just which people should be employed. For all the suggestions that Jones would do better to drop by a Premiership club, and work with England players, he isn't free to do that as a matter of course. It would depend solely on his personal relationship with club management, rather than any official agreement between the RFU and the Premiership.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 06 Apr 2022, 6:23 am

Rugby Fan wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:That's virtually the same article that's been run previously about Jones and his consultancy roles. It's not unusual for him , he's been employed in some way or another by Suntory for something like 20 years. He even did a few sessions with Borthwick at Tigers on consultancy. 

A quick Google shows articles from 2020, 2021 and now 2022 all basically saying the same thing about his Japanese consultancy venture and the RFU saying they don't care.

Maybe he can go get some fresh ideas before the summer tour.

It's hard to take these attacks seriously. The same people worried about Jones working with potential competition, have no complaints when national coaches join the Lions, and spend two months working closely with some of the best players from three of our direct rivals.

It's usually the Telegraph leading the way with stories. They claim Jones has misprepresented his title as a consultant, after Milton Haig referred to him as Director of Rugby. From the very start of his association, Jones has been listed on the Suntory corporate website as "Director of Rugby (consulting)". It's even in English, for any journalist to double-check. They claim today Kerevi "admits learning England secrets", when all Kerevi actually said is that he is "trying to get the England secrets away from him". It's also a bit of a tell that the Telegraph is never concerned about the 16 or 17 Japanese national team squad members on Suntory's roster.

It's quite common for coaches to look for outside opportunities to develop their skills. There was a high profile case a few years ago, when Shaun Edwards was set to work with Toulon. Initially, the WRU approved it in a "career professional development capacity", but later blocked it, after concluding Toulon had expanded the job remit, and wanted too much from him.

As it happens. I do think any outside work needs to be closely monitored. This is another reason why there needs to be more discussion about what overall set-up suits England, and not just which people should be employed. For all the suggestions that Jones would do better to drop by a Premiership club, and work with England players, he isn't free to do that as a matter of course. It would depend solely on his personal relationship with club management, rather than any official agreement between the RFU and the Premiership.

Actually he and his coaches do work with players at clubs to a lesser or greater degree based on role and club or certainly used to, those stories seem to be less and less in recent years. Jones did take up a consultancy role at Tigers as previously mentioned where he helped with attack. Not sure how much he's necessarily helped there but if other clubs requested I don't see a reason he wouldn't also go to work with them. Whether the RFU need to change his contract so he does that without requiring a consultancy contract might be a good point though.

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Post by mountain man Wed 06 Apr 2022, 6:41 am

Tour of Aus with England is in July so I don't see an issue if he coaches elsewhere in meantime.

This has just generated articles as it's Jones and the fall-out from 6N.

Maybe a break from usual scene do him some good and open his eyes to others ways of playing instead of relying on box kicks...

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Post by Rugby Fan Wed 06 Apr 2022, 8:22 am

The BBC interview with Stuart Lancaster is worth a listen.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p0bzlsl2

He talks about the England set-up, saying whatever money and player base England might have, there is still a limit on the time the players have together. He argues the way to ensure England gets the best out of players, is to expose them to excellent coaching from as early as possible, and for as long as possible.

He thinks the age group pathways have to be much better defined. When he took over England, the idea was to have a core of players who could go for two World Cup cycles. Dom Barrow said the other day that he had played in the same team as 19 of the players in England's World Cup final matchday 23.

Eddie Jones has never had any incentive to build a pipeline of England players. Lancaster was an RFU development coach, so that was part of his DNA. There's no guarantee a future coach will have any greater incentive than Jones, so the RFU ought to consider what guard rails it has in place to ensure a greater degree of consistency.




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Post by nlpnlp Wed 06 Apr 2022, 8:30 am

I think if you have had back to back poor 6 Nations you are probably best to keep your head down, be seen to be doing everything to improve future performance by watching lots of club games, etc, etc.  But that isn't EJ's way.  I am sure he is pleased at the furore caused and the column inches he has received.  In the grand scheme of things will his coaching in Japan improve or degrade future England performances?  I would guess not.

The RFU come across as completely crass with their comments - England doing well, making progress, etc, etc.  Yay, in EJ we trust.  Then painting themselves into a corner by coming out with the 'fact' that our next coach will be English and in place before the next world cup.  These are the issues you get when you have business men with no rugby knowledge in charge.

I can't see any circumstances that EJ will be sacked before the next world cup - there are not really any available good candidates, there isn't much time for a new coach to change things and most importantly the RFU would make themselves look stupid.  So EJ it is.  It was noticeable in the run up to the 2019 world cup that there were not as many of the left field player selections and the gameplan deficiencies that we have had since.  So fingers crossed there has been an element of England being unlucky with injuries and EJ not showing our world cup gameplan.  Ireland have usually been good between world cups, but have dismally failed at the world cup because everyone knew exactly how they were going to play.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 06 Apr 2022, 8:47 am

Rugby Fan wrote:The BBC interview with Stuart Lancaster is worth a listen.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p0bzlsl2

He talks about the England set-up, saying whatever money and player base England might have, there is still a limit on the time the players have together. He argues the way to ensure England gets the best out of players, is to expose them to excellent coaching from as early as possible, and for as long as possible.

He thinks the age group pathways have to be much better defined. When he took over England, the idea was to have a core of players who could go for two World Cup cycles. Dom Barrow said the other day that he had played in the same team as 19 of the players in England's World Cup final matchday 23.

Eddie Jones has never had any incentive to build a pipeline of England players. Lancaster was an RFU development coach, so that was part of his DNA. There's no guarantee a future coach will have any greater incentive than Jones, so the RFU ought to consider what guard rails it has in place to ensure a greater degree of consistency.




Interesting, just started to give it a listen between meetings. I'm intrigued to listen to those subsequent points, of course a strong core is great to have running through but does heavily rely on what strengths you starting point has and then the relevant strengths of those age grade teams. Not read all of the Barrow stuff but he kinda admits from what I have that he took his step up a bit for granted, with his aim now to pick up a cap with England. What does a pipeline look at, and why does Lancaster feel he did it while he feels (presumably) that Jones has failed?

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Post by Collapse2005 Wed 06 Apr 2022, 10:07 am

nlpnlp wrote:I think if you have had back to back poor 6 Nations you are probably best to keep your head down, be seen to be doing everything to improve future performance by watching lots of club games, etc, etc.  But that isn't EJ's way.  I am sure he is pleased at the furore caused and the column inches he has received.  In the grand scheme of things will his coaching in Japan improve or degrade future England performances?  I would guess not.

The RFU come across as completely crass with their comments - England doing well, making progress, etc, etc.  Yay, in EJ we trust.  Then painting themselves into a corner by coming out with the 'fact' that our next coach will be English and in place before the next world cup.  These are the issues you get when you have business men with no rugby knowledge in charge.

I can't see any circumstances that EJ will be sacked before the next world cup - there are not really any available good candidates, there isn't much time for a new coach to change things and most importantly the RFU would make themselves look stupid.  So EJ it is.  It was noticeable in the run up to the 2019 world cup that there were not as many of the left field player selections and the gameplan deficiencies that we have had since.  So fingers crossed there has been an element of England being unlucky with injuries and EJ not showing our world cup gameplan.  Ireland have usually been good between world cups, but have dismally failed at the world cup because everyone knew exactly how they were going to play.

I agree with all you say except for the business man part. Think that is something that Clive Woodward said too in a recent interview with Lawrence Dallaglio and I disagree. For me it doesnt matter if the head of the RFU is a non rugby person if they have a very strong understanding of how to run an organisation and they are aided by a board that includes members that do have a rugby background. The impartiality and difference perspective of a business man can actually be a big advantage as was the case with the former CEO of the IRFU Philip Brown. He had no rugby background at all but and absolutely exceptional job running Irish rugby. Also it was probably famously so too Clive Woodward's business background with Xerox that was his point of difference as a rugby coach with England rather than his experience as a rugby player.

I reckon it was particularly short sighted for the RFU to declare that the next head coach will be English. That smacks of really really bad management in my view. I think that England (EJ) have showed a lot of disrespect to the 6 nations in their comments around how the RWC is more important etc etc. I doubt very much that EJ is holding anything back. That said if the RWC is the be all and end all, which it is not then all is not lost as SA proved at the last RWC.

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Post by Rugby Fan Wed 06 Apr 2022, 12:48 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:why does Lancaster feel he did it while he feels (presumably) that Jones has failed?
It's not so much Lancaster blowing his own trumpet, or putting Jones down (though it doesn't sound like he cares for the turnover in assistants). It's more how he envisages building cohesion into an English structure which usually pulls in different directions.

I was editorializing by noting that Jones was given no direct incentive to plan his playing stocks beyond the 2019 World Cup. In fact, he was originally asked to help develop a coach to take over from him, which was almost a discincentive to think about anyone who wouldn't be ready for the 2019 campaign. After all, why would he care about giving game time to players who couldn't help him achieve the single playing goal he'd been set?

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Post by Rugby Fan Wed 06 Apr 2022, 9:00 pm

Telegraph reports Fran Cotton arguing for the return of the "Club England" structure, which he was part of, during Woodward's tenure.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/rugby-union/2022/04/06/fran-cotton-urges-rfu-hold-eddie-jones-account-reintroduce-club/

When England won the World Cup in 2003, Cotton was chair of the Club England, a subgroup of the RFU management board, which coach Clive Woodward reported into rather than the chief executive. Unlike the anonymous panel who are in the process of reviewing another underwhelming Six Nations Championship, Club England was composed of contemporary big hitters such as Bill Beaumont and Simon Halliday who would forcefully challenge Woodward on his decisions on and off the field.

This system was disbanded by former chief executive Francis Baron, who ensured Woodward’s successor, Andy Robinson, reported directly to him in 2004. Cotton, the former England captain and three-time Lions tourist,  believes that was a costly mistake that is still holding England back nearly two decades later. “The reason the system exists is because individuals wanted control, not what is the best structure to consistently deliver performance for the England team,” Cotton told Telegraph Sport. “Club England ended purely and simply because the chief executive wanted control. He thought the finance director reported to him why shouldn’t the England team manager report to him? The one easy answer to that is he wasn’t qualified to deal with the England coach. He didn’t have the credentials. That hasn’t changed. What does Bill Sweeney really know about elite rugby? Look at the Professional Game Board, look at people that are running the professional game. It is a joke.

“The benefits of the Club England system were that you had a group of people there who were very knowledgeable about elite rugby. It was Club England that introduced the academy system and insisted the RFU sent an England team to the Under-20s World Cup. Why on earth they don’t publish the names of the people who are on this (current) panel is beyond me. Why can’t we know who they are? Fellow executives on that team are never going to criticise a fellow executive. You need independent people who know what they are talking about and aren’t afraid to ask the difficult questions.”

Many other countries have a buffer between the chief executive and the head coach. Ireland head coach Andy Farrell reports to David Nucifora as performance director while New Zealand have hired Joe Schmidt as independent selector for the All Blacks. Echoing Baron’s argument, Sweeney believes there is no reason to change the current reporting structure.

“We think it works fine,” Sweeney said. “Obviously, I have a finance director who reports into me, and I'm not a qualified accountant. I have a head of legal and governance that reports to me, and I'm not a lawyer. Now, am I going to have a deep debate with Eddie about whether you should pick for (Freddie) Steward or whether you should pick Marcus (Smith)? No, can I challenge him on things, particularly when results go in the wrong direction? Yes I can.”

Something like that may not be a bad idea. It would be a level where discussions could have taken place about why virtually none of the 2016 Saxons side progressed to the Senior squad; why scrum half development was so limited, whether it was important to cap players to commit their allegiance, and why coaching turnover was so high. All issues which matter to the larger England rugby project but not necessarily to a coach with short term goals.

If that is a desirable structure, then it needs to be in place before the next coach is hired.

The Telegraph article also says Premiership clubs would welcome Jones coming in to run coaching sessions. However, the direct quotations from Baxter and Sanderson are a bit more equivocal.

Exeter director of rugby Rob Baxter says he would be open to Jones coming to Sandy Park if he wished to. “Any of these things are theoretically possible, the challenge would be doing it without harming your match preparation,” Baxter said. “For us potentially, it would be a discussion about what he was looking to coach, to talk about, and almost certainly it would have to be a session early in the week, a Monday, we could put over part of a Monday to a development process, and not necessarily a game-focused process. Or there could be a non-23 group later in the week who aren't as focused on the game.”

Alex Sanderson, the Sale director of rugby, shared similar sentiments. “It is always feasible but it depends on the content of the session,” Sanderson said. “If Eddie were to ask to take a session, we would ask is it right? What would it give to the team? And what’s his process and methodology of going about it? It is not as simple as giving someone a whistle and letting them take a session.”

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 07 Apr 2022, 4:01 am

Is experience of an environment absolutely necessary to challenge? Knowledge is certainly extremely helpful but not sure that means a team to challenge the head coach needs to be named ex players. Hell you could have Dallaglio in a role like that and I'd prefer the CEO of Sainsbury's.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu 07 Apr 2022, 11:19 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Is experience of an environment absolutely necessary to challenge? Knowledge is certainly extremely helpful but not sure that means a team to challenge the head coach needs to be named ex players. Hell you could have Dallaglio in a role like that and I'd prefer the CEO of Sainsbury's.

Based on his punditry work the current CEO probably does know more about elite rugby than he does. 

I assumed part of Connor O'Shea's remit was to be that type of buffer role.

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Post by Rugby Fan Thu 07 Apr 2022, 12:57 pm

Planet Rugby has a video of an hour-long decision featuring four talking heads, including Nick Easter, George Chuter and referee David Rose. They all have different bones to pick, and it covers a lot of the same territory as the discussion on this forum. Worth a look.

https://www.planetrugby.com/expert-witness-picking-englands-best-matchday-23-to-win-rugby-world-cup/

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