Gary Gold Steps Down as USA Coach; Eddie Jones Sacked by England… Meanwhile in Canada
There have been a spate of coaching changes made in the rugby world recently. Last week Eddie Jones was sacked by England and Gary Gold “stepped down” from the USA job, the week started with Wales parting company with Wayne Pivac. They were all related to on field performance of the teams involved, England and Wales were not happy with their team performances leading into a World Cup year. The USA situation was more relatable to Canada, the coach didn’t make the Rugby World Cup, therefore he had to go, there were performance expectations.
Meanwhile in Canada, there appears to be no performance expectations, that would be the logical conclusion based on the decision to keep the men’s XVs coach even though Canada didn’t make the Rugby World Cup for the first time in the tournament’s history. Apparently no big deal to Rugby Canada. The “word on the street” is that Rugby Canada signed Kingsley Jones to a contract that runs up to the World Cup (the World Cup that Canada didn’t make) and they can’t afford to break the contract, so they maintain the charade instead. The rugby community, I’m sure, would appreciate some honesty on this, why not say, “We made a mistake by not putting in any performance clause in the coach’s contract, it’s one of the reasons we sacked the former CEO, we’ll learn from the mistake. Bear with us, we do have a plan in place for the next World Cup cycle”. In the meantime it seems Gareth Rees has been tasked with the job of pretending nothing is wrong and doing the occasional PR piece that no one is buying into. The new CEO, apparently trying to maintain some deniability, is making himself invisible.
USA Rugby Media Release
Gary Gold – “I believe the Eagles can be very successful, but it will need an objective review of the systems and structures because having the group play a total of nine Tests in two years is not conducive to building the cohesion required to climb the world rankings. I fully support the wider review process that has been initiated. Having said that, one of the things I believe about leadership is that the position comes with accountability for outcomes, and I feel that I need to take responsibility for the fact that we havent qualified. To that end, I am going to step away from the role of USA Eagles head coach at the end of the year.”
England Rugby Media Release
Eddie Jones – “I am pleased with much that we have achieved as an England team and I look forward to watching the teams performance in the future,” said Jones. “Many of the players and I will no doubt keep in touch and I wish them all well in their future careers.”
Rugby Media Reaction
Jones told the Sydney Morning Herald that getting fired was simply part of the job as a coach. In this job Ive learnt its impossible to avoid being moved on, Jones said. It comes with the gig. But Im proud of what we accomplished in my time here [with England] and I wish I had the opportunity to finish what I started.