Heard about the wackiest promotion from one World Cup to the next? Dale McIntosh worked as a team hotel security guard at England 2015 but he will now be travelling to Japan 2019 as a team defence coach tasked with devising a rearguard plan aimed at keeping the defending champion All Blacks bay.
It’s an extraordinary twist of fate for Dale McIntosh, coach of the Welsh Premiership winning Merthyr. Just four years ago, he was the safe pair of hands ensuring there was no drama about the safety of the Wales, France and Argentina squads when they stayed at the Vale of Glamorgan resort outside Cardiff preparing for matches at the nearby Principality Stadium.
Now, thanks to an invite from Welshman Phil Davies, New Zealand-born McIntosh, the former Wales international, is preparing to travel to Japan to work as defence coach for Namibia, the pool minnows who must tackle New Zealand and South Africa in their group along with Italy and Canada.
It will the quite the leap for the 49-year-old, but the former Cardiff Blues forwards coach, whose axing by the then PRO12 club resulted in the situation that saw him working security at the last World Cup, is raring to get stuck into the challenge.
“My reaction probably would have been disbelief if you had told me then I would be in this situation now, but I always backed myself as a coach,” said McIntosh to bbc.com. “I had been coaching the Blues and it was tough when I left. I took a bit of a kick in the guts. I learned from that, don’t regret my time and came away a better person.
Security staff ?? facing All Blacks
Merthyr coach Dale McIntosh's rugby journey has been quite something
— BBC Sport Wales (@BBCSportWales) July 25, 2019
“During the last World Cup I was doing security – I was looking after Wales, France and Argentina down the Vale. It was different and I enjoyed it. The Welsh squad were my mates, so I was looking after my friends and that was easy.
“I had spent time in the Welsh camp as an invited guest before so it was no surprise to see they were so well organised. It was interesting to learn the different cultures of the teams.
“I saw things I would have not before and was able to measure sides against each other. I took a lot from that experience in relation to where I went as a coach and can take a bit of that into this tournament.”
Namibia lost all four matches in the last World Cup, including a 58-14 defeat to the All Blacks in London, but McInstosh is keen to help them improve at the latest finals.
“It [the job offer] was not something I had to think over for a long time,” he explained. “It’s a great achievement to say to your grandkids you have coached in a World Cup.
“It is an opportunity for myself and Merthyr to have one of their coaches at the World Cup. That is unheard of. I realise it is a massive challenge but life is about challenges.”
WATCH: Part one of the two-part RugbyPassdocumentary on what the fans can expect to experience at the World Cup in Japan
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