Whenever an incumbent leaves a position – sporting or otherwise – suddenly or unexpectedly, there’s usually a significant back story. Like a GAA manager resigning in the immediate aftermath of a important defeat.
Or a manager getting the sack in one of the professional sports after a bad run of results. But then, every so often, a defenestration is effected which is a complete curve ball which nobody sees coming.
Cue the RFU in England getting rid of Eddie Jones when the team should be in the home straight in their preparation for the forthcoming World Cup. Bizarre.
Even from a neutral viewpoint, it will be readily admitted that the elderly Australian would not be anywhere near the top of a list of my favourite characters on the rugby scene.
That said, Jones did mastermind one of the most noteworthy occurances seen in the oval ball code to date. Namely, the conquest of the then defending World Champions South Africa by the Jones-coached Japan.
Moreover, though I’d obviously be more tuned in to goings on with the Irish team, I don’t remember anything going drastically wrong during his time in charge of England. Which makes their decision to catapult him from control of the Chariot as the contesting of the Webb Ellis trophy hurtling down the line all the more difficult to fathom.
But then, conversely, Steve Borthwick comes across as a thoroughly likeable guy who, it would be ventured, lads would have no problem going to war for or with. Thus, anyone thinking there may be a drop-off in their productivity for the forthcoming Six Nations or beyond could be in for a rude awakening.
Moving swiftly on, ironically, that is exactly what Jones did after being shown the door out of Twickenham. All the way back home to the land Down Under.
Which, in turn, has given rise to a realisation that the old saying ‘One man’s trash is another man’s treasure’ still carries a great degree of credence. Why?
Because The Wallabies have only gone and re-appointed Jones as Coach, 18 years after he last held the post. To do that, of course, they had to shaft the erstwhile occupier of the post, Dave Rennie.
The managerial revolving door system is something more synonymous with soccer, but with Warren Gatland having returned to Wales once again it appears to have caught on in rugby as well.
One is at pains not to wish life away, but, the coming year in international rugby could be very spicy indeed.