France Rugby World Cup: Eight coaches aiming to get their hands on the Rugby World Cup

Eddie Jones’ appointment as Australia Rugby head coach means three of rugby’s major nations have new men in charge going into this year’s Rugby World Cup. Steve Borthwick was last month revealed as Jones’ successor with England, even though Warren Gatland goes back for a second stint with Wales. Here, the PA news organization takes a closer look at the coaches taxed with trying to guide the sport’s leading countries to triumph in France in September and October.

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France Rugby World Cup: Eight coaches aiming to get their hands on the Rugby World Cup
France Rugby World Cup: Eight coaches aiming to get their hands on the Rugby World Cup

Eddie Jones (Australia Rugby World Cup coach)

Jones was rejected by England in December following a miserable 2022 but has quickly reverted to the game for a second spell in charge of his local country, returning the sacked Dave Rennie on a deal until 2027. The well-travelled 62-year-old led the Wallabies to the 2003 Rugby World Cup final and finished runner-up for a second time with England in 2019. He also guided Japan to a shock victory over South Africa at the 2015 tournament Rugby World Cup.

Fabien Galthie (France Rugby World Cup coach)

Though Ireland is presently the world’s number one squad, France goes into their home tournament as favourites. Les Bleus clinched a Six Nations Grand Slam in 2022 and have enviable strength in depth. Former scrum-half Galthie won Jacques Brunel following the last Rugby World Cup and swiftly set about bringing through an exhilarating array of talent. He has overseen 13 consecutive wins, defeating the All Blacks.

Andy Farrell (Ireland Rugby World Cup coach)

Former rugby league star Farrell has made a huge impact since succeeding Joe Schmidt. Ireland tops the world rankings on the back of a stellar year in which they took a historic Test series triumph in New Zealand, toppled South Africa and Australia, and took a Six Nations Triple Crown. The Irish have never continued beyond the quarter-final stage a record Farrell will be eager to change.

Ian Foster (New Zealand Rugby World Cup coach)

New Zealand endured only 10 defeats in 108 Tests through Foster’s time as assistant to Steve Hansen. The 57-year-old has been unsuccessful in fully convincing since marketing to the top job in 2019 and already lost nine of 34 fixtures, with the All Blacks’ first defeats to Argentina. A seven-match undefeated run has eased some of the tension. Yet Foster, whose contract ends after the tournament, has lots to do to get the three-time champions firing.

Gregor Townsend (Scotland Rugby World Cup coach)

Townsend, who won 82 caps for his country, took over in 2017 and has overseen some remarkable wins, as well as a first Twickenham win over the England Rugby team for 38 years. France Rugby team and Australia Rugby side have also been toppled but Scotland continues to search for consistency. The Scots endured an underwhelming pool-stage exit four years ago under the 49-year-old and need to find another gear.

France Rugby World Cup: Eight coaches aiming to get their hands on the Rugby World Cup
France Rugby World Cup: Eight coaches aiming to get their hands on the Rugby World Cup

Jacques Nienaber (South Africa Rugby World Cup coach)

Nienaber was an assistant coach when the Springboks have topped the world champions in 2019 before stepping up after the tournament to allow Rassie Erasmus to fully concentrate on the director of the rugby role. At the time, Nienaber did not know as a head coach. The 50-year-old has won 16 of his 26 Tests in charge, with a 2-1 series success over the British and Irish Lions in 2021.

Warren Gatland (Wales Rugby World Cup coach)

During Gatland’s early 12-year reign from 2007 to 2019, Wales won four Six Nations titles, three Grand Slams, reached two Rugby World Cup semi-finals, and were quickly the world’s number one team. The New Zealander was enticed back after a miserable 2022 for the Welsh, which contained home defeats versus Italy and Georgia, spelt the end for national Wayne Pivac. Gatland, 59, has taken charge of the last three Lions tours.

Steve Borthwick (England Rugby World Cup coach)

Former England forwards coach and captain Borthwick came to Twickenham with an impressive CV. He joined Leicester as head coach in 2020 and guided the Tigers to the Gallagher Premiership title in his second season. Throughout his playing career as an excellent second-row forward, he featured in 57 Tests and clocked up close to 400 looks for Bath and Saracens. His stint starts against Scotland on February 4. Worldwide Tickets and Hospitality offers Rugby World Cup tickets for the France Rugby World Cup 2023 at the best prices. Rugby fans can buy England Rugby World Cup Tickets at exclusively discounted prices.

Eddie Jones’ bold prediction for England at the 2023 Rugby World Cup

New Wallabies coach Eddie Jones has expected an early Rugby World Cup exit for England and his successor Steve Borthwick in France later this year. Taking over the reins from Dave Rennie, Jones will oversee the Wallabies for the upcoming France Rugby World Cup. And a poised Jones believes he can guide the Australia Rugby team to their first Rugby World Cup triumph since 1999 when they beat France in the final.

“If we can have everybody fit and healthy going into the RWC this year, I am confident that we can go to France and break the 24-year drought of winning the Rugby World Cup,” he stated.

France Rugby World Cup: Eight coaches aiming to get their hands on the Rugby World Cup
France Rugby World Cup: Eight coaches aiming to get their hands on the Rugby World Cup

When asked if this means he’d expect to beat his old side, Jones answered: Certainly, mate. You have to beat the best sides to win a Rugby World Cup. If the pools work out as likely, that will see the Wallabies brush past England in the matches. The finals work the same way as the 2019 tournament with the first two sets in each pool progressing to the quarterfinals, which will be contested by knock-out matches. If we suppose the top-ranked squads each win their pools and the second-ranked teams finish runners-up, then the quarter-finals in 2023 could look a bit like this.

  • Wales vs Japan
  • South Africa vs France
  • England vs Australia
  • New Zealand vs Ireland

The RWC 2023 tournament will take place between 8 September and 21 October 2023. England Rugby head coach Steve Borthwick says he is pleased for predecessor Eddie Jones, who has been reappointed as Australia boss. The 62-year-old, who managed the Wallabies when the England Rugby side won the Rugby World Cup in 2003, has changed Dave Rennie nearly a month after becoming sacked as England coach.

With the RWC set to start in September, it sets up a potentially tempting quarter-final clash between the England Rugby team and Australia. But Borthwick has insisted his mind is not on the contest, which will be hosted by France this year. Instead, the new England coach, who was chosen on December 19, has his sights set on the upcoming Six Nations and has announced his team.

The day I was said as England’s head coach, he sent me a message asking me the very best. This morning, I sent him a message wishing him the very best. On a possible match-up with Australia at the Rugby World Cup, Borthwick told: It is an exciting year with the Rugby World Cup around the corner and I think we are all thrilled about it.

We play Scotland in 19 days, so I know the Rugby World Cup is around the corner but in 19 days, we play Scotland so that must be our aim. Kevin [Sinfield, defence coach] and I, all the players, all the coaches, we are focused on that game. Borthwick changed Jones after the Australian managed just five wins in 12 Test games.

France Rugby World Cup: Eight coaches aiming to get their hands on the Rugby World Cup
France Rugby World Cup: Eight coaches aiming to get their hands on the Rugby World Cup

The new England boss has made some big calls, including falling Billy Vunipola and evoking Dan Cole, who has not been for the England Rugby side since the 2019 Rugby World Cup final. Meanwhile, Jones goes back to Australia to finish what he began after his first stint as coach ended tragically but has been tasked with restoring a once great rugby country that has lost its way in recent years.

“It is a wonderful chance for me to be able to come home to Australia and lead my nation to a Rugby World Cup, Jones said. It is going to be an enormous period for Australian rugby as a proud Australian, it is a great honour to be able to come home and lead the national team throughout these years”.

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