Anthony Seibold moves to English rugby, pays tribute to captain Owen Farrell
“This weekend we showed we were able to handle this, a disruption, if you want to call it that,” Seibold said, referring to Farrell’s false positive.
“I was really impressed with how the group performed this morning. Yesterday late in the evening we learned that we had to go back to our rooms. I think we handled it the right way. We had a bit of a delayed start to the morning as we are awaiting results, but things went as usual. The band handled this distraction, or disruption so to speak, and I thought we had a really positive workout.
The Wallabies have plenty of their own distractions, with hamstring scans that should rule out winger Jordan Petaia. Coach Dave Rennie called out Perth-bred London mainstay, Ollie Hoskins overnight, while tight-headed mainstay Taniela Tupou is at risk of missing the test due to return-to-play protocols from injury in the head. Hoskins began his professional career with the Western Force before moving to the British Premiership in 2016.
It was a dramatic start to Seibold’s career as a rugby coach. The Queenslander said he had been in contact with England coach Jones since the days of the Rabbitohs, but cemented the relationship on a personal development trip to England in 2018. He met Jones and went on to spent time at some Premiership rugby clubs, including Farrell’s Saracens.
“One thing I walked away with was leadership and the way Owen spoke in meetings really left a mark on me,” Seibold said. “I looked back at some of the senior players that I coached in my day and the way they spoke, he was very clear in what he wanted and he certainly supported what the coaches wanted.
“Before I got into the camp I reached out to Owen and we had a Zoom chat and a bit of a talk about defense and the areas he saw England have done well over the past two seasons and areas to do better.
“He’s a real leader, him with Courtney Lawes and Jonny May on the wing are three guys who have a real impact on the [defence]. It was a real good opportunity for a few years [ago] and it was great to see Owen up close. Working with him now I see his appetite to be a leader and have enjoyed the past two weeks.
Seibold replaced Kiwi John Mitchell as England’s defensive coach, after what he described as an unannounced call from Jones.
He came after a torturous final season in charge of the Broncos, which culminated in a mutually agreed-upon separation. Brisbane has lost 25 of its 40 games under Seibold, earning the 47-year-old the dubious honor of being the only manager to leave the club with no win ratio.
He joins England at a critical point in the squad cycle until the 2023 World Cup and will be put to the test in Australia’s famously scorching work environment Jones.
“I’ve been here two and a half weeks so far. I was very impressed with the professionalism of the staff and the players and I had a lot of fun but I know there will be bigger tests to come over the next two weeks, ”he said.
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Watch all Wallabies, All Blacks and Springboks matches Spring circuits on the House of Rugby, Stan Sport. Continue this weekend with Scotland v South Africa (Saturday, 11:50 p.m. AEDT), Ireland vs. New Zealand (Sunday, 2:05 a.m. AEDT) and England vs. Australia (Sunday, 4:00 a.m. AEDT).