The recent stipulation by Ian Ritchie, head honcho at the RFU, that English coaches must now gain international experience before they can be appointed as head coach of the national team, is strange one.
Firstly, how are they supposed to get that experience? I don’t see that there are too many major rugby playing nations out there where international coaching roles may be up for grabs.
Secondly, this all rather supposes that being a successful Premiership head coach is insufficient.
But ask yourself this: when was the last time the RFU appointed a successful English club coach to lead the national side?
The answer? 1995 – Jack Rowell, who had led Bath to 5 league titles.
Since then the RFU have appointed:
1997 – Clive Woodward – appointed from Bath where he was assistant coach
2004 – Andy Robinson – promoted from being England assistant coach
2006 – Brian Ashton – promoted from being England assistant coach
2008 – Martin Johnson – appointed with no significant coaching experience
2011 – Stuart Lancaster – promoted from being England Saxons coach
2015 – Eddie Jones – appointed with extensive international coaching experience.
Yes, Eddie has been a brilliant appointment but this is simply because he is the right man for the job.
But who’s to say that the next right man for the job isn’t currently plying his trade at Saracens, Exeter, Northampton, Leicester or Wasps, for instance?