Sir Ian McGeechan selects his choice to replace Eddie Jones as England boss - Ruck

Sir Ian McGeechan selects his choice to replace Eddie Jones as England boss

Sir Ian McGeechan has named the three contenders at the top of his list for potential replacements for Eddie Jones as England head coach.

The Aussie will know by the middle of next week if he is going to be sacked, with his position under increasing pressure.

The Rugby Football Union is holding a review into England’s disappointing autumn campaign, which culminated in a 27-13 defeat by South Africa.

“If you were offering the job to someone tomorrow, the person at the top of my list would probably be Warren Gatland,” McGeechan wrote.

“Simply because Gats has the experience, the track record, knows the players, would be able to gel everyone together and is reasonably available.”

He also believes current Ireland boss Andy Farrell will be in the mix.

“The two other big hitters, and again they would be near the top of my list if you were offering the role to someone tomorrow, would be John Mitchell and Farrell.”

Eddie Jones pay-off?

Sources suggest the Aussie will receive an £800,000 pay-out if he is sacked as England boss – but he wouldn’t be able to take another job before the Rugby World Cup.

The RFU had promised a review, but sources indicated they could act before that to bring down the curtain on Jones’s seven-year tenure with the 2003 World Cup winners. 

The Mail Online have reported that senior RFU performance executive Conor O’Shea was canvassing players.

A function involving Jones, senior RFU figures and members of the media was scheduled to take place on Monday, December 5, but that has now been postponed.

O’Gara out of the race:

He is out of the running to replace Eddie Jones as England boss after he signed a new three-year contract with La Rochelle.

The legendary Ireland fly-half has not been shy with confirming his interest in the England job but is currently in an interesting position, serving a 10-week touchline ban in France.

That ban was handed down to him for “making remarks to a match official”, having already served a previous six-week suspension this season for “disrespecting the authority of a match official”. 

However, today’s reports in the French media claim that O’Gara will in fact stay at La Rochelle and sign a contract that will keep him in the south of France until after the 2027 World Cup.

They say: “A three-year contract, which would lead the Irish coach until the 2027 World Cup, is simply awaiting the signature of the person concerned today.”

Sir Ian McGeechan’s dream rugby XV


Fullback: JPR Williams (Wales) – “Not a staggeringly original choice, I’ll admit. But to my mind the only one. If I’m going to be picking a dream XV over the next few days then I want JPR at the back. No question.”

Left-wing: Jonah Lomu (New Zealand) – “Illness and injury ultimately slowed him down. But his performances at the 1995 World Cup, just as the game was turning professional, will never be forgotten. The game needed a superstar, and it got one in Lomu. He was brilliant for rugby.”

Right-wing: John Kirwan (New Zealand) – “He had an all round game; he could carry the ball through heavy traffic, he could offload, he was like an extra back-rower at times. Plus, he had natural effortless pace. He ended up scoring 35 tries for the All Blacks and was instrumental as they went through their unbeaten spell of games between 1987 and 1990.”


Outside-centre: Brian O’Driscoll (Ireland) – “His ability to get back on his feet after tackling to compete for the ball was extraordinary, and ensured he always had an impact on the game, whatever type of game it was. He was such a natural talent.”

Inside-centre: Philippe Sella (France) – “Sella and O’Driscoll were powerful men. They could stop a forward in his tracks. I think as a pair they would dominate any midfield and I like the thought of them together.”