Could Rugby Union coaches being based on the touchline make for a more entertaining game?


The common spot for a Rugby Head Coach to watch their side is from the stands, with the main reason of getting a clearer view of the game.

Since the dawn of the professional game, directors of rugby and head coaches have taken shelter up in the stands, but why do the majority of the Top14 club coaches in France manage their team from the sidelines?

The first sport you think of when seeing coaches on the side is football and the absolute classic moments we have witnessed from this, such as the Louis Van Gaal dive, Mourinho knee slide, and Wenger standing on top of the dugout.

But more recently we have seen these Top14 coaches clashing on the touchlines, with Ronan O’Gara being a repeat offender of getting into some touchline drama.

But during a time when men’s Rugby is finding it hard to appeal to a new and younger audience, could having these moments of overexuberance from the coaches help the game capture a wider audience?

It may seem a far stretch, but with Rugby’s coverage seemingly catered for the older generation, a shakeup like this could be the spark the sport could need.

Most recently South African Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus swapped the comfort of the directors’ box in the stands for water carrier duties for the Springboks to carry on direct messages to the players that were sent from the stands.

There was outrage at the Rugby World with many calling for there to be laws in place that mean; no member of the coaching staff should be allowed near the pitch. But why are French club coaches always overlooked?

Another International coach who often positions himself near the touchline is England Head coach Eddie Jones, albeit for the last 15 minutes or so.

Jones, believes he got the inspiration of operating from the touchline during his time in Japan, and he told The Rugby Paper:

“Having that balance of being able to get how the game is evolving, and then add something to the emotional side of the game, could make it quite interesting.”

When it comes to entertainment value and being innovative in how we can make the game more exciting, we can most certainly look to Eddie Jones and football for that inspiration in innovation.


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