So the RFU needs an Englishman to replace Eddie Jones. Good. They have to go all out and make it an all English teaching group – starting with making Shaun Edwards a serious source at the end.
It’s too late for this World Cup cycle. The medal-laden former rugby league captain in Nice, UK, is dedicated to France until 2023 when he will try to help the hosts win their home World Cup.
His near-term ambitions lie across the channel, but if they make sense, the RFU will now make it clear to him that they need him when the subsequent world spectacle is over.
After a disappointing Six Nations, critical questions are being asked about Eddie Jones’ future
Edward’s successful behavior is such that the Twickenham authorities could effectively be summoned to take him to the earliest alternative and then build a brand new administration building around him.
It doesn’t usually work that way. Normally the top coach is deployed and he’s willing to go for his personal pals, but Edwards is a new special case. Any group he engages with is successful. He is the common denominator. The RFU should pay whatever it takes for this magical contact.
Last week, the Sweeney government’s union chief’s bill was requested for Edwards in connection with discussions about succession planning.
Reflecting on the cross-code icon getting to work for two different international locations, he said: “I actually met him 18 months ago. We took a walk down the river from Teddington to Richmond.
France’s medal-strewn defense coach Shaun Edwards needs to be at the top of the RFU’s checklist to start the game
“I just wanted to hear his story. I mentioned, “Have we ever spoken to you?”. He said: “Someone known as me, but it certainly wasn’t a strict name and it wasn’t accepted – and I was pretty excited about the idea of going abroad and doing something completely different”. Did we miss him there? Probably. He’s being reached there (in France) very successfully and we actually know who he is.’
Everyone knows who he is. Edwards is an ultimate title collector, so the RFU should make him their first signing post-Jones and post-Worlds. Then they will build a set of English teaching skills around him. There are plenty of these out there today, so it makes sense to make use of them.
To be clear, this is not a revisionist condemnation of the decision to nominate Jones in 2015. He was the right man and the fact that he was an overseas candidate was no reason to miss his ideally suited credentials.
However, the union’s choice of a homegrown alternative must be applauded, as the appointment from within is a testament to a healthy, sustainable system. The ultimate goal must be to arrange a “shoe room” tradition that regularly promotes new No. 1s from the established assistants.
RFU Prime Minister Invoice Sweeney said he met with Edwards about 18 months ago
If the RFU needed a new head coach ahead of the World Cup, Steve Borthwick would fill the bill as top technician with a forensic eye for the elements, but Rob Baxter possesses additional statesmanship – if he could be lured out of Devon. Richard Cockerill is already a forward coach and would bring boundless local enthusiasm for the job.
Sweeney and the Governing Body’s job is to promote a plan for a high-performing setup with multiple proven coaches working together. It will need major funding, but they’ve never shied away from it.
The RFU should try to assemble a strong English line-up to lead Operation Pink Rose. Not all of the most effective ovalball masterminds have an antipodean accent.
Any recruitment debate will surely work like Alex Sanderson, George Skivington and Sam Vesty. The RFU must also probe Stuart Lancaster about his long-term intentions given his celebrated impression at Leinster.
However, England’s teaching future was to include Edwards. It’s time for Sweeney to rearrange another riverside chat…
Leicester Tigers head coach Steve Borthwick could be another candidate for the England job
England Ladies are unstoppable
One of the many recurring complaints regarding the English male group is that they do not appear to capitalize on the financial advantage they hold over all of their rivals, but may not incur such a cost to their female peers.
The Pink Roses reiterated their commanding position as they were easily ranked No. 1 in the world with a 57-5 win over Scotland in Edinburgh on Saturday to launch their marketing campaign and win their fourth straight Six Nations title .
Flanker Marlie Packer contributed a hat-trick of attempts and a tally of 24 tackles without missing a single. England head coach Simon Middleton claimed his face was “rusty”, which was just as effective for the Scots – who played in front of their all-time crowd of 3,988.
The only real threat to the Pink Roses is France, who meet the favorites in Bayonne on April 30.
As always, the Gallic ladies could be backed by a large crowd, but by then England’s winning streak will surely have been extended to 22 video games. In a World Cup year they develop into an unstoppable force.
Flanker Marlie Packer scored a hat-trick in England Ladies’ 57-5 win over Scotland
Farrell back in Eddie’s sights
Owen Farrell had an eventful comeback for Saracens on Saturday. The England captain hadn’t appeared since November but he did make 12 appearances against Bristol in front of a crowd of 40,000 at Tottenham Stadium, going 27-23 against Bristol and lucky enough to avoid a yellow card on a no-arms deal by Piers O ‘Conor and went out for a head damage assessment 11 minutes before time.
Farrell’s type would be the subject of much scrutiny in the coming months as Eddie Jones plans the season-ending tour of Australia. In his absence, the national group struggled within the Six Nations and Henry Slade was not as influential at inside center as he was when Farrell was not in charge in the fall.
That has left the door open and there’s a chance Jones could lead him through, make the veteran playmaker captain again and ask him to brief Marcus Smith during his check apprenticeship. Who knows the place where England’s much-heralded “new” tactical revolution may depart.
Still, rugby wants decency and respect
Rugby authorities are on a relentless campaign to engage with teenage viewers via social media shenanigans, but it could potentially backfire. That became clear last week when the United Rugby Championship fired the company over a publication on TikTok that showed Cardiff’s Aled Summerhill being knocked out in a game against the Lions in Johannesburg.
Each of the participants and those around them rightly expressed their outrage at a few clips of the collision captioned “Good night” and “zzzz” because the wing was immobile on the pitch. It is thanks to their credit rating that the league acted quickly by apologizing and severing ties with the company holding their account.
The game’s quest to enchant the youth market is reasonable and requires innovation, but not at the expense of decency and respect.
Owen Farrell performed against 12 points on Saturday’s Saracens return to the Bristol Bears
The final sentence
What a strange state of affairs awaits Ealing Trailfinders this week. West Londoners know that a win against Richmond on Saturday will guarantee them the Championship, but beyond that the implications remain unclear.
What follows? They risk being caught in an absurd state of limbo as they seek to challenge the verdict blocking their promotion to the Premiership for failing to meet the controversial minimum requirements.
How are they supposed to organize themselves as far as the elite for an achievable step? It’s all typical English rugby mayhem, caused by petty politics and a divisive tradition of self-interest.
Last week, Sweeney spoke about how many players are unable to earn enough playing time due to a lack of restrictions in the Premier League. The answer is a correct, viable, two-tiered construction, but it certainly requires ingenuity, foresight, and funding.
Unfortunately, none of these important components can be found, so the sport continues to atrophy under the highest flight.