Rugby? Why on Earth would it be of any relevance to talk about rugby on this site?
Well, it is of relevance because the Rugby World Cup is happening again next year and already experts and commentators are trying to 'predict' who will take the William Webb Ellis trophy this time around.
Rugby is not just a game of brute force and
One of our favourite analysts on the topic of rugby is Squidge Rugby (it's funny, entertaining and unbelievably detailed...makes the 'experts' on SuperSport sound like diners in a restaurant who have a casual interest in rugby) - who has posted a fascinating video in which they suggest that Eddie Jones has been planning the gradual ascendancy of the England team for some time now and 2023 is when his 'big win strategy' all comes perfectly together.
The bold suggestion is that England will win the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.
Not too long ago we wrote about Eddie Jones right here - in particular we were enthralled by Mr Jones' employment of a 'professional truth teller' as a key part of the team, to make sure that nobody willingly engages in the fine art of talking bullshit...including himself.
'Eddie believes in being able to call upon a “truth teller”, a mentor-like coaching voice. He recalls a conversation he had with Ron Adams, the Assistant Head Coach of the Golden State Warriors, who is two decades older than the Warriors’ Head Coach Steve Kerr. “One of the best Zoom conversations I had during lockdown,” is Jones’ verdict. “His job is to tell [Steve Kerr] the truth. If you haven’t got that in your organisation you’ve got to get it.”'
Making sure that nobody willing talks nonsense is just one of Eddie Jones' interesting approaches to coaching modern international rugby.
Eddie believes in starting with a vision
'His 28 years as a coach, which includes spells as Head Coach of the Brumbies, Queensland Reds and Wallabies in his native Australia, as well as the Japan men’s national team, have taught Jones the importance of starting with a coaching vision and working backwards.
“Where do you want to go? Start with the vision, get the structure in place to support the vision, then you’ve got to get the right people and the right behaviours. You’re like a chemist, you’re pouring little bits and things in there, taking away, and every day you’ve got to check the temperature because every day you get closer to where you are at your best and you’re also a day closer to where you’re not at your best. The cycle of life is more exacerbated in the cycle of sport.”'
Sport strategy has always been a fascination of ours - because the results of these strategic efforts are tangible, you can see them play out of in the game. If you love strategy, then strategy in sport is the ultimate binge-fest.
What's great about the Squidge Rugby analysis of Eddie Jones is that they pick up on feint signals of change (presented in meticulous detail) and synthesise all of these into a plausible futures prognosis that England - under the master strategist that is Eddie Jones - have a very, very good shout of winning RWC 2023.
Fans of Squidge Rugby will recall that before RWC 2019 they also suggested that South Africa would win the tournament, based on a similar kind of detailed analysis (which BTW in case you forgot, or don't know...they did) - so let's see if they can make it 2 for 2.
It's tough to make a call like this against the All Blacks (the team that most people who watch rugby, as well as the bookies, expect to always win these kind of tournaments), but the All Blacks don't have Eddie Jones; and Eddie Jones is a very, very clever strategist.
So let's see what happens.
Rugby World Cup 2023 kicks off in France on Friday 8 September 2023.