Who will fare better – Steve Borthwick vs Warren Gatland

Rugby Tuesday January 17, 2023 By: James Bayley

There has been something of a managerial merry-go-round in the world of rugby these past few months, as teams look to make positive changes ahead of the World Cup in the Autumn.

In December 2022, then Leicester Tigers boss Steve Borthwick was appointed England Head Coach following the sacking of Eddie Jones. He takes the realms after leading the Tigers to their eleventh Premiership title during the 2021–22 season, their first in nine years.

He was the outstanding candidate after the departure of Jones, who led England to the final of the 2019 World Cup and a Grand Slam at the 2016 Six Nations.

For much of his time with England, and before as Head Coach of Japan, Jones had Borthwick as his assistant, so he comes into the job with plenty of international experience.

Borthwick will need to draw on all his expertise as England gear up for the 2023 Six Nations. 2022 was the worst year results-wise for England since 2008, but a positive Six Nations will drastically change the mood in the camp ahead of the World Cup, for which the Red and Whites have a very favourable draw.

England won’t be the only team under new management at the Six Nations after Wales rehired Warren Gatland as Head Coach in December 2022. New Zealander Gatland oversaw a period of great success with Wales in his first spell between 2007 and 2019, which saw Wales win four Six Nations titles, including three Grand Slams, and reached the semi-finals of the 2011 and 2019 Rugby World Cups.

Gatland, who rejoins following a brief stint coaching in the New Zealand Super League, also coached the British & Irish Lions on three tours, to Australia in 2013, when they won the Test series 2–1; New Zealand in 2017, when the series was drawn; and South Africa in 2021, losing the series 2–1.

The new-look sides will go head-to-head on 25 February 2023 in the Six Nations at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.

The bookies favourites going into the championships are Ireland, the current number-one ranked team in the world following a memorable 2022 series win over New Zealand. However, reigning champions and Grand Slam winners France will be looking to hit their stride before a World Cup in which they will have home advantage. England, Wales and Scotland all failed to impress last time out whilst Italy secured a memorable victory over Wales, their first in the Six Nations since 2015.

Rugby Twickenham

Guinness Six Nations 2023

Six Nations fixtures 2023

Saturday, 4 February 2023

Wales vs Ireland (2.15pm) Principality Stadium, Cardiff

England vs Scotland (4.45pm) Twickenham Stadium, London

Sunday, 5 February 2023

Italy vs France (3pm) Stadio Olimpico, Rome

Saturday, 11 February 2023

Ireland vs France (2.15pm) Aviva Stadium, Dublin

Scotland vs Wales (4.45pm) BT Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh

Sunday, 12 February 2023

England vs Italy (3pm) Twickenham Stadium, London

Saturday, 25 February 2023

Italy vs Ireland (2.15pm) Stadio Olimpico, Rome

Wales vs England (4.45pm) Principality Stadium, Cardiff

Sunday, 26 February 2023

France vs Scotland (3pm) Stade de France, Paris

Saturday, 11 March 2023

Italy vs Wales (2.15pm) Stadio Olimpico, Rome

England vs France (4.45pm) Twickenham Stadium, London

Sunday, 12 March 2023

Scotland vs Ireland (3pm) BT Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh

Saturday, 18 March 2023

Scotland vs Italy (12.30pm) BT Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh

France vs Wales (2.45pm) Stade de France, Paris

Ireland vs England (5pm) Aviva Stadium, Dublin

The results of the Six Nations will give the clearest indication ahead of the World Cup in France as to which of the Northern Hemisphere teams will fare best.

However, there will also be a round of warm-up fixtures in August as teams make their final preparations before the main tournament begins in September.

England and Wales will meet again in back-to-back games, for a battle of wits before both teams begin their respective World Cup campaigns.

Rugby World Cup Warm-ups

England World Cup warm-up fixtures

Wales vs England – Saturday 5 August, Principality Stadium, Cardiff

England vs Wales – Saturday 12 August, Twickenham Stadium, London

Ireland vs England – Saturday 19 August, Aviva Stadium, Dublin

England vs Fiji – Saturday 26 August, Twickenham Stadium, London

Wales World Cup warm-ups

Wales vs England – Saturday 5 August, Principality Stadium, Cardiff

England v Wales – Saturday 12 August, Twickenham Stadium, London

Wales v South Africa – Saturday 19 August, Principality Stadium, Cardiff

There is still plenty of action to whet your appetite before the world’s best rugby players descend upon France in September. Both England and Wales will be hoping to make it out of the Pools, setting up a potential quarter-final clash at the Stade Vélodrome in Marseille.

However, if Wales win their pool leaving Australia in second place then England will likely face the Wallabies in a quarterfinal clash, under new manager Eddie Jones, who will be looking for revenge after his sacking in December.

There is drama everywhere you look in this blockbuster year for rugby, so be sure to book your tickets before it’s too late.

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