The Rugby World Cup is finished, teams have returned home and planning for the next four-year cycle to France 2023 will be in the early years.
So here are some talking points that we can look to after what has to be the best RWC. The games were fantastic, the crowd were phenomenal and hopefully, Japan will continue to take this sport into their hearts.
Japan To Be Included In The Rugby Championship
Following their incredible performances and exciting fans around the world with their play becoming everyone’s second favourite team surely it’s time for the brave blossoms to join World Cup champions South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and Argentina in the Rugby Championship.
If they did it will continue the growth of the sport from the fantastic base of the RWC as the nation will be welcoming back England in summer 2020 for a two-game tour and will be going to Murrayfield to play Scotland in November 2020.
Japan isn’t the only nation in the discussion as there are calls for Fiji to join, which would be fantastic for the sport and the country and we finally would have a Southern Hemisphere version of the Six Nations.
Australia, New Zealand & The Future Of Jamie Joseph
If reports are true and Jamie Joseph’s contract with Japan is over, the performances of his side during the RWC he has becoming one of the sort after head coaches in the world with my belief both Australia and New Zealand must be looking at him.
However, The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting Glasgow Warriors head coach Dave Rennie is the man replacing Michael Cheika as the new Wallabies head coach.
There’s also a possibility England head coach Eddie Jones could return to his country and lead his nation once again.
As for the All Blacks, Rennie is also rumoured to be Steve Hansen’s successor and lead his nation.
The New Zealander will have a battle with current All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster and Crusaders mastermind Scott Robertson.
However, if Newshub is right New Zealand Rugby is looking at the team the new head coach will have around before making their appointment.
As Newshub’s rugby correspondent John Day is reporting both Joseph and his assistant Tony Brown contracts have finished and are been highlighted as the best assistant coaches available.
This adds to the report by the Otago Daily Times claiming both Foster and Robinson have approached Joseph and Brown to be part of their coaching teams.
“I reckon whoever can get Jamie Joseph and Tony Brown on their side as assistants will be the next All Black coach,” stated Day.
However, Day goes on to add “I think Jamie Joseph would want to be a head coach, but Tony Brown is the key man in this. He got that Japanse attack humming, one of the best-attacking coaches in the world.”
Which is why I could see both men saying no and Joseph being the new head coach of the All Blacks or Wallabies (depending on if Rennie isn’t signed).
Stuff is reporting Brown has in fact turned down Foster and Robinson’s offer and will be part of Joseph’s team if he applies for the role or stay in Japan with the head coach.
As a crazy, never going to happen prediction the English RFU will offer Joseph and Brown a massive deal to become Jones’ assistants and if Jones doesn’t extend his deal past 2021, you have Joseph already waiting in the wings.
The USA Needs To Up Their Game
While I never thought the USA would set the world alight, I did think in their game could have competed and won a game. However, even with this low level, they failed.
It’s a shame because it has the potential to become a major force in the game based on the size of the country and the product line from those who don’t make it professional in the NFL from college.
Progress is slowly happening with the Major League Rugby, but internationally they need to play more games and against similar/strong teams to improve.
Which is why I think during every Autumn, they should tour the home nations over four weeks and the summer have teams like Japan and other Six Nations team tour the US and help the game grow stateside.
US Rugby would have a massive boost if they do win the 2027 World Cup and should look to Japan to see how the game to make waves in a crowded field with the likes of NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and even the MLS and that’s without the popularity of college sports.
Six Nations Going To Be Exciting
There will be three new head coaches, several players retiring, the wave of new players and numerous new captains. 2020’s Six Nations is going to be the rebirth of Northern Hemisphere rugby and it is one of the most exciting tournaments in years.
This is also because several players across the home nations will likely be rested and we could seriously see some exciting rugby.