The S Word acknowledges how there is currently very little live sport being played around the world. However, there are still sporting stories being released and we will look into as many of these as possible. One of this week’s major headlines was Eddie Jones extending his RFU contract through to the 2023 World Cup. This week’s blog from The S Word is a one-sided discussion about why England will win the Rugby World Cup in 2023. As ever, please leave comments down below if you have a contrasting view!
Why Eddie Jones will win England the World Cup in France 2023
Eddie Jones recently confirmed what we already knew – he will continue his role as England’s head coach through to the 2023 World Cup in France and become England’s longest serving coach. This was no surprise to the rugby world, but it is exactly the positive news that England fans were hoping for. It may still be 3 years, 5 months and 3 days until the opening game of rugby’s greatest showcase, but with their head coach for the tournament confirmed, England have effectively won the world cup already.
With Eddie at the reins, England have their most successful coach ever (in terms of win %). Jones has won 78% of his test matches – Sir Clive Woodward? 71%. People like to criticise Jones on everything from selecting players out of position to criticising the referee, but while the focus is on Jones, there is less attention on his players and his players just keep on winning. Under Jones, England fans have witnessed a Grand Slam, Six Nations Title, a record 18 consecutive wins, a clean sweep in Australia, and a win percentage of 50% or above against all nations. It’s easy to remove from your memory, but this has been achieved despite having inherited the most disappointing and shambolic England squads after crashing out at the group stages in their home World Cup in 2015.
Jones has admitted himself that he is a better coach at national level compared to club level. Despite winning the Super 12 league with his beloved Brumbies, he has had relatively unsuccessful stints at the Queensland Reds, Saracens and Suntory Sungoliath. However, when coaching at national level, Jones thrives. Whether it is leading Australia and England to World Cup finals (exceeding expectations in both), coaching Japan to ‘The Brighton Miracle’, or as a consultant for the victorious Springboks in 2007, his CV is exceptional.
What this list of achievements does show is how he is yet to win the main prize of a World Cup as Head Coach, which is only going to fuel motivation for the Australian maverick. He personally has admitted how he was using this Six Nations to see if the players still responded to his unique, and often relentless methods of coaching. There was almost inevitably going to be a slight drop in the players motivation and therefore performance after the devastating defeat to South Africa in Japan, but despite a first-round loss to the French, England have re-found form and currently find themselves top of the Six Nations table with an inevitable 5 points forthcoming against their final round opposition, Italy.
I’m sure one of the deciding factors for Jones to renew his RFU contract was the incredibly young and talented talent pool he has had nurtured. The side he selected in the World Cup final was the youngest starting XV in the professional era, with an average age of 27 years 60 days. The result? The large majority of this team will be able to play in the next world cup, but with four more years’ more experience, and with the potential for other youngsters to develop and challenge the established players, the thought of who Eddie will be able to select is simply mouth-watering.
As you can see, the large majority of these players are established internationals with multiple caps already under their belts.
We at The S Word will be looking to bring you exclusive content from professional athletes in the coming weeks. Keep an eye out for the odd player from the list above appearing on our website!
I was tempted not to write this section, as there are not any realistic countries that will get close to challenging England in 2023. However, here is a list of the other tier 1 nations and why they will not compete with England.
France – Home World Cup? Yes. Young team? Yes. Some exciting players? Yes. But this is France! There is no way they will be able to handle the pressure that they will be under when 2023 comes around. Look at this Six Nations – when playing as the underdogs against England and Wales, they came away with impressive victories. However, when labelled favourites? Against woeful Scotland? They were outplayed and lost. Against an even worse Italian team? Scraped through to win at home.
South Africa – World Champions but everyone who followed the World Cup knows that they weren’t the best team in the competition. Losing to the All Blacks in their first game and scraping through one of the most boring World Cup matches in the Semi Final against Wales. England simply had one of those off days in the final. Would have beaten them 9 times out of 10.
New Zealand – interesting one with Ian Foster succeeding the legendary Steve Hansen. Surely, they are destined for a couple of years of rebuilding after being dismantled by England in the Semi Final. In addition, Hansen has been involved with the All Blacks, either as an assistant or a head coach, since 2004!
Ireland – An ageing team also in a rebuilding phase following Joe Schmidt standing down and Andy Farrell stepping in. Farrell is widely regarded as a great coach and a great motivator, but there are certainly question marks around his man management as the main man.
Australia – Rugby Australia is in financial turmoil from the Coronavirus outbreak and have stood down 75% of its workforce. On the pitch they aren’t much better. They also have an ageing team and with a new Head Coach in Dave Rennie, Australia are also destined for a rebuilding stage for the next couple of years.
Wales – No chance.
Yokohama on 2 November was devastating for all of us but let’s look at the positives: if we won in the final, Eddie Jones would likely have retired and there was no obvious successor. Instead we have a head coach who knows his players extensively, and the players respond positively to his coaching methods. The players who experienced Japan 2019 would have learnt a considerable amount from losing in the final and will be incredibly motivated with no complacency come France 2023. England are currently the best team in the world and are only going to get better. Book time off work for the victory parade in Trafalgar Square soon after Saturday 21st October 2023!
Bet of the Week: England World Cup Winner 2023 @ 7/2 (£10 returns £45).