Matt Proudfoot made some interesting comments after Eddie Jones revealed earlier this week that the former Springboks assistant would be part of the England set-up for the forthcoming Guinness Six Nations.
Following the announcement, the South African-born former Scotland prop said: “England is probably the best team in world rugby to coach.”
It was a remark some people were offended by. After all, Proudfoot helped to guide the Springboks to World Cup glory just two months ago as forwards coach, dismantling England in the final.
However, many have now made the distinction between the ‘best team in the world’ and the ‘best team in the world to coach’.
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It is hard to argue after the RWC final in November that England are better than South Africa, but it has been stressed what makes a team better to coach.
The politics surrounding South African rugby is something that sets it apart from most other countries, with many former coaches being scathingly critical of the South African Rugby Union, particularly Peter de Villiers in recent years.
“Best team to coach” is different from “best team”. I think he selected his words carefully and he may just be correct. Loads of money and little outside interference.
— Louis * (@LouisAfrica63) January 13, 2020
While there has also been criticism of the Rugby Football Union in the past, it is likely to be incomparable to Proudfoot’s experiences in South Africa.
Additionally, the RFU is the wealthiest union in rugby, so England is the best team to coach purely from a financial perspective.
To be fair, he was referring to the actual coaching and not quality of team The boks are not the best team to coach at all, due to Politics.
— JP Pretorius (@jppretorius7) January 13, 2020
Well coaching in England is probably the pinnacle of coaching. Most professional and best funded set-up for any coach to be involved in….so I understand what Matt tried to say.
— Jacques Terblanche (@rooirysmier) January 13, 2020
Of course, Proudfoot has been brought in by Jones to replicate the success he had with the Springboks with England’s pack.
While they did come off second best in November, there is still a lot of talent and potential in the England team, particularly the forwards, and any coach would relish being in charge of that group.
There is a difference between being the best team and the best team to coach. Nothing wrong with the statement.
— Joe De Beer (@j_de_beer) January 13, 2020
Proudfoot has replaced Steve Borthwick, who had been England’s forwards coach throughout Jones’ tenure and now becomes a skills coach for the upcoming Six Nations. England Sevens coach Simon Amor has become the new attack coach.
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