Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Poisoned chalice?

So Stuart Lancaster has done the decent thing and stepped down as England Head Coach ("by mutual consent" - whatever the hell that means).

Good man. He has taken responsibility for England's failings, as he said he would, and deserves respect for that.

Now that there is a vacancy, however, I’ve noticed several comments to the effect that the Head Coach role is something of a poisoned chalice, that no serious coach in his right mind would want to coach England in its current state and that the problems for English rugby lie far deeper than the coaching.

All of which, quite frankly, is bollocks.

In my humble opinion there are several reasons why a top coach might want to coach the England squad - plenty of English talent around the Premiership, a hugely promising next generation of players coming through, huge resources at his disposal and a not insubstantial salary, for a start.

It’s also not as if any new Head Coach would be starting from Ground Zero. After all, in each of the last 5 Six Nations tournaments, an "unsuccessful" England have played 5, won 4 and lost 1, finishing 2nd in each of the last three tournaments only on points difference, and don’t forget over the same period England have beaten both of this year’s Word Cup finalists (which not too many other teams can claim). It's not a fantastic record, but it's not a bad base to start from.

Poisoned chalice? My arse.

1 comment:

sesenta y cuatro said...

The poison in England's coaching or in England's rugby is the expectations. For some reason, the wealthiest union in the world does not have a pool of players with as much talent as is commonly expected.
The poison is the culture. For some reason, the culture in England's national team does not give a platform for success.
The poison is the Premiership. For some reason, people in the northern hemisphere believe playing 30+ games of high-attrition rate rugby per year is the precondition for a successful test campaign.
The poison is the RFU. For some reason, clubs are ruling the game in England, yet the responsibilities of all the miseries in the international stage are for Johnson, Lancaster... and whoever that might come after.
Therefore there's only one reason a professional coach would drink...