After Two Impressive Years With England – Is Jones The Standout Candidate to Lead the Lions?

Will Eddie Jones lead the Lions in South Africa?

England’s miserable 2015 Rugby World Cup will live long in the memory, with Stuart Lancaster’s Red Rose flopping at a home World Cup that promised to be such a memorable occasion. Even two years on, the marks still show for England supporters, but Eddie Jones, Lancaster’s predecessor, has worked wonders in bringing positivity back to the camp.

Whilst England flopped in that doomed campaign, Jones excelled, helping Japan to a shock victory over South Africa. Jones’ move to the English national side, where he has excelled once again, and will ultimately be aiming for more than just a chance to settle old scores – he will want to end New Zealand’s dominance in the competition.

The All Blacks are once again overwhelming favourites to win the World Cup next time out, even without the likes of Dan Carter and Richie McCaw, who were influential in New Zealand’s victories in 2011 and 2015. Nevertheless, All Blacks fans will be falling over one another to register for World Cup 2019 tickets and the chance to see their side lift a third-consecutive Webb Ellis trophy.

New Zealand have coughed and spluttered slightly in recent months, and were of course sensationally beaten by Ireland in Chicago last year, with a number of underwhelming performances having been masked by close victories.

With such a wager on a New Zealand victory in Japan looking shakier than ever, Australia and England all of a sudden look like high-value bets, and bettors in search of Coral betting offers for UK users, for example, have been surprised by the value and offers available across the rugby market.

Of course, Jones will be looking to end New Zealand’s dominance, and after his impressive spell with England, it could be a real possibility. Other punters may look to take advantage of Coral’s offer in other ways, by placing a more unlikely wager on the World Cup in two years.

England are probably viewed as New Zealand’s biggest challengers at this current time, with Jones losing just once since his appointment as head-coach, a period of time that has also seen England win back-to-back Six Nations titles.

Another big opportunity could present itself in the near future for Jones, with Warren Gatland confirming his intention not to return to the Lions for the 2021 tour of South Africa, where the Lions will be looking to make it a third series unbeaten, after Gatland led them to a memorable victory over Australia in 2013 and an impressive draw in New Zealand four years later.

Jones is surely the leading candidate to replace Gatland, after two extremely good years with England on the international stage. The 57-year-old has managed three different national sides, and should he take on a role with the Lions, it could be the pinnacle of his coaching career.

It is credit to the job Jones has done with England that his name has even been mentioned as a replacement for Gatland. The Australian would surely relish the opportunity, and he is exactly the type of personality that could take the Lions beyond the excellent level Gatland has taken them to in recent years.

The Lions stopped the best team in the world earlier in the summer, and perhaps should have come back to the British Isles with more than just a series draw. However, they will head to South Africa with ambitions of another series victory, maybe even a whitewash. Jones has shown what an excellent coach he is, helping England bounce back from a disappointing World Cup in 2015, and he could prove to be an excellent appointment ahead of the Lions tour in 2021.

Jason Hennessy

Jason Hennessy

Jason is the editor at RugbyLAD. Any queries big or small you can reach him at [email protected]
Jason Hennessy