"Easy choice" - Warren Gatland picks Eddie Jones replacement - Ruck

“Easy choice” – Warren Gatland picks Eddie Jones replacement

Warren Gatland has told the RFU that they’d be ‘very lucky’ to have Andy Farrell as their next head coach.

The former Wales boss, who has distanced himself from the England job, has backed his former Lions lieutenant for the role.

“There is no doubt in my mind he (Farrell) would do a good job as a successor to Eddie Jones as England head coach after next year’s World Cup, but then he might decide to stay on with Ireland and achieve something really special with them.

“I have known the Ireland head coach for a long time, first working closely with him when I appointed him as defence coach for the British and Irish Lions tour of Australia in 2013 and again four years later for the tour of New Zealand.

“I would have taken him to South Africa last year too, but the Irish Rugby Football Union were not keen on him going.

“I was impressed by the way that he dealt with his experience with England in the 2015 World Cup and learned from it. He was much more concise in delivering information. Less is often more, particularly on a Lions tour when it is important not to overload the players.

“That evolution continued under Joe Schmidt with Ireland and in the last year he has begun to step out of Joe’s shadow and put his own stamp on things.

“The thing that I admire about him is that he has strong ideas and thoughts, but he is very loyal as well.”

EDITORS PICKS:

Warren Gatland’s dream team has a few surprises

Looking back through the archives, the 58-year-old saves his praise for only the players he truly admires. Below, find his dream team of the players he coached.

BACK-THREE:

  • 15. Leigh Halfpenny (Wales)
  • 14. Shane Williams (Wales)
  • 11. Sitiveni Sivivatu (New Zealand)

Gatland on Sivivatu: “Probably the best player I’ve ever coached, [who] played for the All Blacks, Waikato and Clermont, was Sitiveni Sivivatu,”

Gatland on Halfpenny: “Probably pound-for-pound, Shane Williams. He had some incredible brilliant attacking attributes. But sometimes Shane could score three tries and let in two. But pound for pound he was unbelievable when he was at his best.”

CENTRES:

  • 13. Brian O’Driscoll (Ireland)
  • 12. Jamie Roberts (Wales)

Gatland on O’Driscoll: “In his prime, he was absolutely outstanding in terms of his rugby knowledge and leadership. He was always able to make players around him look better than they were.”

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