With Stuart Lancaster having stepped down as England’s Head Coach, we take a look at a coaching line-up that could help England kick on…
Clive Woodward – Director of Rugby/Performance Director
Given Woodward has been out of coaching for so long, being Head Coach may be a step too far. His experience of giving England the necessary platform from which to work however is unparalleled and he could be a fantastic appointment to ensure the team have everything they need, whilst also providing a buffer between the RFU and the Head Coach.
Eddie Jones – Head Coach
There would be a hefty up front fee to buy him out of his Stromers contract, but given his exploits with Japan at the 2015 World Cup, there is no doubting Jones’ credentials. He had his side playing a brand of rugby comparable to the likes of the All Blacks and Wallabies, whilst helping ensure their relatively small pack where more than a match for anyone.
Shaun Edwards – Defence Coach
With his Wales contract having not yet been renewed, Edwards would be the ideal man should the RFU feel the need for a total coaching refresh. He has done wonders with the Welsh defence, their 2015 Six Nations victory over Ireland being a particular highlight as they held out on their own line for multiple phases.
Alex King – Attack Coach
With experience of coaching at the very top level of European club rugby for both Northampton and Clermont, King has plenty of experience for the role. His sides are well known for playing a relatively expansive brand of rugby which would no doubt help peak interest of disillusioned England fans.
Marc Dal Maso – Scrum/Forwards Coach
The remarkable improvement in Japan’s scrum before the World Cup is in large part down the appointment of the former French international. Given England’s pack were going backwards for large parts of the World Cup, he would be just the man to turn them into a dominant force once again.
Jonny Wilkinson – Kicking/Skills Coach
A role such as this could suit Wilkinson perfectly as he could be involved on a part-time basis ensuring he is still able to retain his coaching position with Toulon. The opportunity to link up with Clive Woodward again could appeal, whilst there is every chance it could be the beginning of his learning curve as a future Head Coach should it be of interest.
Steve Borthwick – Line-out Coach
Another potentially part-time role within the set-up may suit Borthwick as well given he has just signed a contract with Bristol. He was another influential figure under Eddie Jones for Japan as he helped establish the sides line-out as an important part of their game. Again, this could prove to be a transitional role, with a view to a longer term position as forwards coach.
What would be your ideal coaching set-up for England?