Northampton head coach Chris Boyd has shed light into the ruthless nature of coaching in the northern hemisphere.


The man who lead the Hurricanes to their maiden Super Rugby title in 2016 referenced Australian coach Matt O’Connor, who was sacked by Leicester just one match into the 2018 Premiership.

“I can’t understand how a board can have an opinion of somebody and then after one week it changes significantly enough that they need to act,” Boyd told Liam Napier from The New Zealand Herald. “With due respect to Matt, he was probably a dead man walking. They were probably just waiting to get the opportunity.

“If they felt like that, I don’t understand why they didn’t act like that in the offseason.”

The demand for instant results in Europe offers a different dynamic to coaching elsewhere.

“It’s a ruthless place,” Boyd said. “If you get it right it’s great, and if you don’t then you go and that’s how it is.

“I 100 per cent agree with it – that’s the nature of the beast. There’s a demand here for performance. We’re employed by our clubs which are often owned by private individuals where often in New Zealand we’re employed by NZ Rugby.”

Boyd is aware that seeing out his three-year contract with Northampton isn’t guaranteed.

“If I’m spectacularly unsuccessful here and I go that’s because I haven’t got the results that I was employed to get and I understand that so be it.

“A contract protects you from things you can’t control around the whims of boards and owners.

“If you want security you’d never be a rugby coach.”

Boyd’s Saints are currently 10th on the Premiership table with just three wins from their nine league fixtures. Boyd began coaching in 2003 and and joined Northampton in 2018 after three years at the helm of the Hurricanes.

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