A World Cup winner, an old foe and a player’s Dad feature in our top three
It hasn’t been a great week to be English. Embarrassment at the hands of Australia in the Rugby World Cup hit the nation hard, as millions of fans across the country came to terms with the fact that Stuart Lancaster’s men had become the first host nation to be dumped out at the pool stages of the sport’s biggest tournament.
Lancaster himself apologised to the nation, as did the players. However, as is so often the case it is likely to be the man at the top who bears the brunt, and for many it will be the correct decision.
An announcement on the coach’s future looks to have been delayed until after the tournament finishes, but if he does go, as is strongly rumoured, then who will be the men in pole position to take on one of the biggest jobs in world rugby?
Eddie Jones – 9/1 Paddy Power
The man at the helm of the greatest World Cup story in years in the shape of Japan is very much the flavour of the month right now. What he has done with the Brave Blossoms is nothing short of magnificent and he definitely has the experience.
Jones was the opposing coach when England beat Australia Down Under in 2003 and he led the Wallabies to Tri Nations success in 2001. He has already hinted that he would be open to talks and he is sure to be on the RFU shortlist.
Mike Ford – 6/1 Ladbrokes
Former rugby league player Ford used to coach the English defence and his links to the RFU are clear. He has openly criticised Lancaster in the past, and at the World Cup, and his son George is a key part of the current setup.
Being English will only serve to help his case and his positive style and thought processes make him a polar opposite to the current incumbent, which would appease supporters.
Jake White – 12/1 Coral
The man who led South Africa to World Cup glory in 2007, White has all the credentials to coach England. He spoke to the RFU about the role before Lancaster’s appointment and it would be strange if he didn’t do so again.
White has won the IRB coach of the year award on two occasions and is currently coaching in France.