In the 1950s Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung outlined his theory of synchronicity, which postulated that remarkable coincidences in the real world may be connected to our psyche including dreams and thoughts – a remarkable theory, indeed.
Now fast forward to that fateful day – November 15, 2003 – when Australia famously put on a clinical display and dominated the All Blacks in a Rugby World Cup semi-final. Eddie Jones had masterminded the outcome against John Mitchell, who was swiftly shown the exit door on stage right.
Fast forward again to Yokohama for the Rugby World Cup 2019 semi-final and we have Jones and Mitchell on the same coaching ticket, this time for England against NZ. Such is the way of capitalism, but who would have guessed this outcome in 2003? What would the odds have been that those two coaches would unite 16 years later to plot the downfall of the All Blacks once again?
In this spirit of Jung and implausible coincidences I considered what some of the international coaching teams may look like at the next World Cup in an alternative universe.
All Blacks – Eddie Jones
Eddie Jones is one of the best coaches in the world and is reportedly available after the World Cup, so why not consider him as a potential All Blacks coach? While the All Blacks have long had a local only policy for the role, is it time to start thinking outside the box?
Obviously with his experience and record, Eddie Jones knows the game of rugby football – he is tactically very astute. However, he has the potential to get quickly offside with New Zealand fans which could be terminal. It’s unclear whether his scorched earth policy on staff and player policy would be a good fit in the New Zealand setup.
Much would of course rest on the outcome of the semi-final against New Zealand. Should Hansen get the better of it, then Jones is not going to have much of a show. But if England destroy New Zealand then Jones would have the inside track in my alternate universe All Blacks coaching team.
All Blacks – Dave Rennie
All of the talk has been about Dave Rennie going to Australia, but why not have him coach the All Blacks instead? New Zealand Rugby should be going hard to try and get Rennie on the coaching team in one form or other.
Perhaps on a unity ticket with Ian Foster? There is the potential to throw Jamie Joseph into that triumvirate as well. It’s time to start bringing some of that New Zealand rugby nous back home.
South Africa – Michael Cheika
New to the job market, Cheika suiting up for the Springboks is not entirely out of the realms of possibility – Jones has already done it after all. But can you imagine the cultural fit? With Cheika spitting the dummy every two seconds in the political minefield of South African rugby, it might not end well.
Australia: Warren Gatland
Admittedly he will be busy with the Chiefs, Lions and potentially the All Blacks in one capacity or other, but in alternate realities dreams can and do come true in a very real sense.
How about you? Who would you like to see coaching what country in an alternative universe?