The New Zealander is back at the helm of the Six Nations and the Rugby World Cup. Warren Gatland has taken an ‘everything is possible' approach as he prepares to enter his second term as Wales head coach in the Guinness Six Nations Championship this season. Gatland has enjoyed sustained success, reflecting his previous tenure from 2008 to 2019.
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During this time, Wales won four Six Nations titles, three Grand Slams, twice reached the semi-finals of the Rugby World Cup and was briefly the number one team in the world. Welsh rugby has not experienced such lasting dominance since the golden era of the 1970s, when big names such as Sir Gareth Edwards, J.P.R. Williams and Gerald Davies dominated.
However, Gatland is back, with Wales slipping to ninth in the world after a poor 2022 under his predecessor, Wayne Pivac, that saw just three wins in 12 Tests. And the list of losses included shocking home losses against Italy and Georgia – results that actually cost Pivacs the job.
While many Welsh fans hope that Gatland's Midas touch could revive fortunes thanks to the Six Nations and the Rugby World Cup 2023 in France later this year, it could prove to be a daunting task. Ireland and France enter the Six Nations as clear favorites, while England under new boss Steve Borthwick is sure to have an impact on the tournament. So, Wales opening match against Ireland in Cardiff on 4 February is likely to shape a Six Nations campaign where momentum is everything.
“There is a bigger picture, but six nations are never random, Gatland said. It's important, and it's always been important to us. For us, Six Nations is when points are at stake. I am incredibly competitive and I will do my best to put this team in a position where they can compete with the best teams in the world.”
Sometimes autumn is a free shot. There will be no free shot in Six Nations. This is the competition you want to win. Ireland is tough at home, but it's a great game for us and we can look forward to it. This was incredible 15 years ago, so anything is possible. I am incredibly competitive and I will do my best to put this team in a position where they can compete with the best teams in the world.
“It will take some time, but I can guarantee that we will work very hard. I am confident that we will compete very well in the Six Nations.”
Wales will be captained by prostitute Ken Owens, with almost a third of Gatland's 37-man team playing over 50 caps. But there's also room for new faces in Gatland's four unrestricted players – centres Mason Grady and Keiran Williams, and locks Rhys Davis and Teddy Williams.
I think the problem is to balance the older players who were part of the team with the younger players, added Gatland. How many changes are you making? We must give young people the opportunity to get to the RWC 2023. This is balancing. For more about knowing Wales Rugby World Cup Tickets.
“I think it affected the composition. There are experienced players that we want to be part of this with, but there are a lot of players that don't have a lot of capital letters behind their names that need more experience. It is important that we succeed in the Six Nations, but we must also think about the next 10 months.”
‘I’m not the messiah’ says new Australia rugby coach Eddie Jones
New Wallabies coach Eddie Jones said on Tuesday he is “not a messiah” but he is aiming to win the Rugby World Cup 2023 in France. The polarized veteran has been lured back to coach the national team following the shock sacking of Dave Rennie earlier this month.
Beginning his second tenure in the top job, which he held between 2001 and 2005, Jones said that Australian rugby needed to rediscover a certain panache. Teams that play with spirit win rugby world cup and people's hearts, he told reporters.
“We want to bring back the pride of Australian rugby. It is most important”.
Australia slipped to sixth in the world rugby rankings after a disappointing 2022 tour of the Northern Hemisphere where they lost to Italy for the first time. Despite the poor results, Jones said the Wallabies would be contenders for the Rugby World Cup in September.
“We have to win the Rugby World Cup. If we win it will change the game of rugby in Australia. About six teams are separated by tissue paper. It's so tight.”
Jones held his first press conference since he started at Matraville Sports High, the Sydney high school where he famously played wallaby legend Mark Ella. Signing a five-year deal, Jones said it was his mission to strengthen Australian rugby.
“I am not the messiah, he said. Everyone is involved, but sometimes you just need someone to beat the drum.”
New Zealander Rennie, who took over from Michael Cheick at the end of 2019, was sacked after just five wins in 14 Tests last year. Jones coached the Wallabies until the 2003 Rugby World Cup final in Sydney, which they lost to England in extra time. A notorious tough taskmaster, Jones was sacked by England last December.
Stan Sport to become Australia’s home of Rugby World Cup after dual-tournament World Rugby deal
World Rugby and Stan Sport have announced details of a massive deal that will see Stan become the exclusive venue for the Rugby World Cup for sports fans in Australia. The announcement, made ahead of Saturday's Australian Rugby Championship game against South Africa, expands the comprehensive portfolio of existing international and domestic rugby rights to cement the streaming giant's status as the home of rugby in Australia.
Sports fans will be able to watch live, non-stop coverage of every match of the 2021 Rugby World Cup (women's) and Rugby World Cup 2023 (men's) as part of a comprehensive content offering that provides unparalleled access to rugby's biggest events. For more about knowing Australia Rugby World Cup Tickets.
With 45 days before the world's best women's teams go head-to-head in New Zealand, Stan will bring fans closer to action as the Wallabies kick off their campaign against the New Zealand champions on October 8 at Eden Park ahead of what could be a record attendance for a women's test match. Additional exclusive content will allow fans to participate in the tournament in an unprecedented way.
It is the turn of the world's best men's teams to take center stage next year as France hosts the Rugby World Cup 2023 and an event that looks set to break all previous attendance records. The Wallabies begin their hunt for a third Webb Ellis Cup against Georgia on September 9, and Stan will bring fans closer to the action with an extensive content offering. The Wallabies matches and the final will also be simulcast live on the Nine network.
World Rugby CEO Alan Gilpin said: We are delighted to partner with Stan Sport to provide fans in Australia with unrivaled access to our Men's and Women's Rugby World Cups. Stan Sport is the birthplace of rugby in Australia and we are excited by their plans to bring the sport to new audiences through innovative content and leading digital platforms.
“We are entering a golden decade for rugby in Australia, culminating in the hosting of the Men's and Women's Rugby World Cups in 2027 and 2029 respectively. The hype is on the rise and we look forward to working with Stan Sport and our friends at Rugby Australia to get all of Australia interested in rugby again.”
The addition of both Rugby World Cups further solidifies Stan's position as the home of rugby in Australia, with more world class rugby available in one place than ever before, including the Rugby Championship, Spring Tour (Autumn Series of Nations), Six Nations and the Super Rugby Pacific.
Stan Chief Executive Officer Martin Kugeler said: Since the launch of Stan Sport in February 2021, we have invested heavily in creating a new rugby offering that fans will love. From grassroots, world-class international players to now the pinnacle of the game, the Rugby World Cup, Stan Sport continues to provide more content for rugby men and women than ever before.
“Through the great partnership we have forged with Rugby Australia, together we have grown rugby domestically and this announcement further underscores our commitment to the game. We are uniquely positioned to showcase the Rugby World Cup to more Australians than ever before using the Stan and Nine Total TV offering. There is no better place to showcase one of the biggest events in global sport and we look forward to kicking off the 2021 Women's Rugby World Cup in New Zealand this October.”
The 2019 Men's Rugby World Cup in Japan was the most watched rugby event ever, with over 857 million viewers worldwide, up 26% from the previous tournament in England. This landmark deal uniquely combines the power of Stan, Australia's leading local streaming service, and its parent company Nine, Australia's largest media company, to showcase the Rugby World Cup to more fans than ever before.
Meanwhile, the women's edition will be the jewel in the crown of an exciting new global calendar from 2023. The 2021 edition, played in 2022 in New Zealand, will raise the bar after the global successes in Ireland, France and England and attracted a huge amount of ticket demand.
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