Eddie Jones predicts that France Rugby World Cup will be the most interesting tournament

Eddie Jones believes that the France Rugby World Cup 2023 will be the most fascinating yet, with a more even playing field providing more chances for upsets and shock results. The former England boss predicts that there will be more upsets and shocks during the tournament in France, following suit to the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

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Eddie Jones predicts that France Rugby World Cup will be the most interesting tournament
Eddie Jones predicts that France Rugby World Cup will be the most interesting tournament

Speaking to Kyodo News, Jones supposed there is no reason why the ‘smaller countries’ could reach the semi-finals of the World Cup and hopes that they will replicate the efforts of the Moroccan and Croatian football sides. A tiny country like Morocco and a tiny country like Croatia made the final four, Jones said about the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

In rugby, it’s not so much about population; it’s more about tradition, so what’s to say two smaller countries cannot make the final four? Imagine if you had a final four of New Zealand, South Africa, Japan and Fiji. Imagine how fascinating that would be probably not too fascinating for Ireland or France, but no reason couldn’t happen.

Jones believes that developments have been made in the smaller rugby-playing countries that should help them claim more upsets at the Rugby World Cup. Focusing on Fiji and Japan, he said there has been an equalization of coaching talent and improvements in facilities that would assist this. There’s been a coaching equalization so, just, for instance, Japan has had Jamie Joseph, and Tony Brown, who I imagine would be good enough to coach the All Blacks. So that’s an advantage for Japan, he added.

Fiji now has a world-class training centre, which it never had before. So, all these changes are happening that are allowing countries to come up. So, it makes it a much more even playing field.

Traditional winner

While Jones speaks the playing field has been evened out, he doesn’t see any of the teams outside the current top six as overall winners in France. Jones divides the current Test teams into three clusters.

“There are three clusters of teams as I look at it,” he supposed.

There is nothing between them the first cluster of the top six ranked sides, so any of those teams could beat each other on the day. The second cluster for Jones includes Japan and Argentina, adding that probably any of those in the second group could beat the top six on their day, though probably not consistently. And underneath that, you have another group of Italy, Samoa, Fiji, Tonga and Georgia, and all of those five could probably beat the teams above them.

Most interesting World Cup

The competitiveness of international rugby ahead of the Rugby World Cup leads Jones to conclude that 2023 will be the most intriguing tournament to date. The general pattern has been New Zealand has been miles ahead, and then there’s South Africa and England like in 2019 chasing them, he supposed, adding having three clusters makes for the most interesting Rugby World Cup.

Eddie Jones returns to Twickenham with Barbarians

Former England coach Eddie Jones will take charge of the Barbarians for their game against a World XV at Twickenham in May, the team said on Tuesday. Jones, 62, was sacked by England’s Rugby Football Union last week following a year in which England won only five of their 12 tests.

Eddie Jones predicts that France Rugby World Cup will be the most interesting tournament
Eddie Jones predicts that France Rugby World Cup will be the most interesting tournament

I’m very much looking forward to returning to Twickenham Stadium a venue I have so many fond memories of,” Jones said. “I’m more motivated than ever to put on a show.”

Jones coached the Barbarians in their 33-31 defeat by Fiji in 2019 and his England side was beaten 52-21 by the invitational team in June. The Australian, who has been linked with the United States side as well as a role back home, said he was looking forward to the May 28 clash with the world team led by former New Zealand coach Steve Hansen.

Going up against Steve rekindles a great rivalry which started in our days competing in Super Rugby and progressed into the international arena, Jones added. It’ll be a great challenge and one I’m sure we’re both relishing.

England Rugby captain Owen Farrell: Eddie Jones sacking unbelievably disappointing

England captain Owen Farrell has said Eddie Jones was one of the best coaches he ever worked with and described his sacking as unbelievably disappointing. Jones was sacked by the Rugby Football Union (RFU) last week following a review of England’s Autumn Nations Series, with the team winning only five of their 12 Tests under him this year.

It’s unbelievably disappointing, Farrell told the BBC on Sunday after his club side Saracens defeated Edinburgh in the Champions Cup. Eddie had been a big part of England Rugby for a long time now and he has been one of the best coaches I have ever had so, for that, I’m massively thankful. We are disappointed it has finished early and we owe a lot to him. I have been around for a while now and have not been around too many changes, both at the club and international levels. It’s not pleasant to go through.

Eddie Jones predicts that France Rugby World Cup will be the most interesting tournament
Eddie Jones predicts that France Rugby World Cup will be the most interesting tournament

Farrell supposed the impetus to replace Jones had not come from the players. I don’t think it has come from the players, he added. There is stuff we all want to get better at from the results but as players, you look at yourself and see what you can do.

Next England rugby head coach’s odds

The RFU and Eddie Jones parted ways on Tuesday after a disappointing autumn series in which they only won one of their four matches with Steve Borthwick the favourite to take charge. The England rugby team are on the hunt for a new head coach following the departure of Eddie Jones on Tuesday just nine months before the France World Cup gets underway in France. Worldwide Tickets and Hospitality offers Rugby World Cup tickets for the France Rugby World Cup at the best prices. Rugby fans can buy Rugby World Cup Final Tickets at exclusively discounted prices.

Jones had been in charge of England since 2016, winning three Six Nations titles in that time while also reaching the final of the 2019 Rugby World Cup. In those seven years, he was seen to have transformed the fortunes of an England team who had crashed out in the pool stage of the 2015 World Cup just before his arrival.

The RFU released a statement on Tuesday confirming his departure which comes after England were booed off the Twickenham pitch in their last match having lost to South Africa. Former Leicester Director of Rugby and member of the England coaching staff Richard Cockerill has been placed in charge of the team until a permanent coach is hired.

Eddie Jones predicts that France Rugby World Cup will be the most interesting tournament
Eddie Jones predicts that France Rugby World Cup will be the most interesting tournament

Current Leicester Tigers Director of Rugby Steve Borthwick is the bookies’ favourite to take the role, with Betfair giving the former England captain odds of 1/8 to take the role enduringly. This comes after he transforms the East Midlands club in recent years, ending in a Premiership win last season.

Borthwick could also bring Kevin Sinfield with him into the England setup should he take the job, with the former Leeds Rhinos rugby league star having been widely credited for his work as defence coach at Tigers together with Borthwick. Having been part of Eddie Jones’ initial success with England, and a solid association with stars such as Maro Itoje and Owen Farrell from his time as a player at Saracens, Borthwick has been made the favourite and would be a strong steadiness option for the RFU.

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