RI­VALS' COACHES

NZ Rugby World - - The Breskdown -

ENG­LAND HAVE HINTED that they have both Joe Sch­midt and War­ren Gat­land on their short­list to take over from in­cum­bent coach Ed­die Jones.

The RFU an­nounced late last year that they were ex­tend­ing Jones’s con­tract through to 2021 but were si­mul­ta­ne­ously begin­ning the search for his suc­ces­sor.

They want a con­trolled hand over if pos­si­ble, but have also said that if Eng­land fail to meet their goals at the World Cup, Jones won’t be re­tained af­ter the tour­na­ment.

RFU chief ex­ec­u­tive Steve Brown told the Daily Tele­graph that the key at­tributes they are look­ing for are coaches with in­ter­na­tional ex­pe­ri­ence and proven abil­ity to win tests.

When he was asked if there was a gentle­men’s agree­ment in place to not go af­ter ri­val home union coaches, Brown said: “No, that doesn’t ex­ist. Half of the tier-one coaches changed at the last World Cup and most of them were North­ern Hemi­sphere, so they are go­ing to go in dif­fer­ent di­rec­tions.

“It’s pretty com­pet­i­tive, so no one’s off lim­its. It’s all to do with whether they fit the pro­file and the cri­te­ria that we’re look­ing for. Whilst we would love to have an English head coach even­tu­ally, our pri­or­ity is still to get the best coach for Eng­land.”

Gat­land, who guided the Li­ons to an his­toric se­ries draw in New Zealand last year has al­ready con­firmed he will be step­ping down from his job with Wales af­ter the World Cup.

Sch­midt, who is seen as a pos­si­ble suc­ces­sor of Steve Hansen at the All Blacks, is also off con­tract with Ire­land at the end of 2019 and Brown said nei­ther had been pre­cluded from dis­cus­sions.

“We’re not pre­clud­ing any­one from the list. But what we’re not go­ing to do is to up­set an­other union. We are go­ing to be re­spect­ful of those ar­range­ments, as we would ex­pect oth­ers to do with us.”

MEN IN DE­MAND Eng­land have said men such as Joe Sch­midt are avail­able to be on their coach­ing short list.

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