Newly appointed England head coach Eddie Jones has let go of three members of the team’s backroom staff after a poor showing at their home World Cup earlier in the year. Mike Catt, Andy Farrell and Graham Rowntree were coaches in the England team who failed to get out of the knockout stage in September.
The trio of coaches were all chosen by ex head coach Stuart Lancaster, who was relieved of his duties in November after the team’s disappointing performance in the World Cup. The four had worked together to coach England in their previous 36 matches. Under their leadership, they managed to win 22 of those 36 tests, but their previous performances weren’t enough to convince Jones to keep them on.
The three coaches will be hard to replace as they had a wealth of experience behind them. Graham Rowntree was a former England and Leicester loosehead prop before joining the coaching team in 2008 as a forwards coach. Mike Catt was part of the England World Cup winning team in 2003. He became a backs coach for the London Irish in 2008 before joining the England team in the same role in 2012. Andy Farrell also joined the England coaching team in 2012 ahead of the Six Nations. Before that, Farrell played internationally for his country in both rugby league and rugby union.
New coach Eddie Jones will now have to rebuild his backroom staff from scratch, and he hasn’t got long to do that before the Six Nations. The tournament in February will be Jones’ first big challenge and England fans will be hoping for a quick turnaround in the team’s fortunes. At the moment, bookmakers Coral already have England as favourites to win the tournament at 15/8. Once Jones announces his backroom staff these odds could change massively, so if you’re looking to place a bet then keep up with the latest odds on the Coral mobile app. They are only narrowly ahead of Italy who are 2/1 to take the crown, so their win is far from a certainty.
So who could Jones choose to replace the coaching trio of Catt, Farrell and Rowntree? Rumours suggest that Steve Borthwick has been approached by the RFU to join the backroom team. The former England captain worked with Jones to coach Japan to their shocking win over South Africa in this year’s World Cup. Paul Gustard is also rumoured to return the England team as a coach rather than a player. The former Leicester, London Irish and Saracens flanker has also worked with the new England head coach. Eddie Jones made him his assistant first team coach when he was head coach for the Saracens in 2008.
Whoever Jones chooses, they’ll have a steep hill to climb to turn a team who couldn’t even get out of the knockout stages of their home World Cup into a team that can win the Six Nations.