New Zealand

Warren Gatland linked to England as Eddie Jones fights to save his job

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Warren Gatland has been linked to the England head coaching job amid doubts over the future of Eddie Jones.

Gatland returned to New Zealand last season after signing a four-year deal with the Chiefs, but was granted leave for the current campaign to lead the British and Irish Lions’ tour of South Africa.

Warren Gatland is on leave from the Chiefs while he coaches the British and Irish Lions.

Fiona Goodall/Getty Images

Warren Gatland is on leave from the Chiefs while he coaches the British and Irish Lions.

With Jones’ position under review after overseeing England’s dismal Six Nations, a report in The Rugby Paper said the Rugby Football Union had “sounded out” Gatland and the Springboks’ World Cup-winning coach Rassie Erasmus.

The report added that there were rumours of Gatland “house-hunting in the Twickenham area” ahead of a potential move to London following the Lions tour, but said nothing had been signed.

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Jones is fighting to save his job after England lost to Scotland, Wales and Ireland in the recent Six Nations, the first time in 45 years the Red Rose were beaten by all three Celtic nations in the same championship.

After wrapping up his lengthy stint with Wales following the 2019 World Cup, Gatland ruled himself out of coaching England.

However, his tenure at the Chiefs didn’t get off to the best start last year.

While the Chiefs won four of six Super Rugby matches before the competition was scrapped due to the Covid-19 pandemic, they failed to win a single game in the Super Rugby Aotearoa competition.

Coach Eddie Jones is under pressure to keep his job after England’s disappointing Six Nations.

Alastair Grant/AP

Coach Eddie Jones is under pressure to keep his job after England’s disappointing Six Nations.

Clayton McMillan has taken the reins this season in Gatland’s absence. After struggling early, the Chiefs have since rebounded with back-to-back wins over the Hurricanes and Blues.

Gatland isn’t the coach only the RFU is keeping an eye on, according to The Rugby Paper.

They have reportedly shown an interest in Erasmus, who won the 2019 World Cup with South Africa in Japan, beating Jones’ England in the final.

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