England’s Rugby World Cup winning coach Sir Clive Woodward is hopeful that Aussie Eddie Jones successor in 2019 will be homegrown as we now ‘have great coaches’.
“I want to highlight the excellence of those homegrown coaches guiding the top four teams in the Premiership.” wrote Woodward in his column for the Mail.
“Top of the pile are Northampton, who have responded magnificently to a nightmare 55-24 defeat by Sarries first up.
“Full credit to Jim Mallinder for leading that. Coaches such as Mallinder get criticised when it goes wrong but year in, year out for Sale and now Saints — sometimes on limited budgets — he has produced extremely competitive teams in the toughest of leagues.”
“Dean Richards has done likewise at Leicester, Quins and now Newcastle. The Falcons’ game on Saturday at Exeter will, I understand, be his 300th Premiership match as a coach or director of rugby.
“Those miles on the clock are priceless. Mark McCall is, of course, a proud Ulsterman but as a coach he is ‘homegrown’ having been in charge at Saracens for eight years.
“He has transformed them from a flinty but often limited side who came up short against the best into a hugely impressive and versatile team who have won back-to-back European Cups.
“Fourth are Exeter, the defending Premiership champions. Rob Baxter got them fit for purpose in the Championship, then hit the Premiership running. Their style of play has adorned the league.
“So when the time does come to replace Eddie, yes, scour the world for excellence but be aware that we already have some of the best coaches and DORs right here.
“International coaching and club coaching require different skill sets but handling the day-to-day pressures of a top Premiership side over a sustained period is an excellent start.”