Warren Gatland Fears A Certain Football Culture Could Be Creeping Into Rugby

Merry-go-round.

Wales head coach Warren Gatland fears football’s culture of hiring and firing coaches is slowly but surely creeping in rugby.

The New Zealander says clubs now want instant success, similar to what goes on in the English Premier League. He says rugby might not be as bad now, but it’s heading down the same road as football.

“The thing with rugby at the moment is that there is definitely an element of football coming into it,” he said.

“It’s nowhere near as bad compared to the amount of changes you see in football.

“Crystal Palace made a change after four games in the Premier League. The longevity of a coach there is pretty limited. It’s 12 months if you’re lucky, maybe longer.

“Rugby is going down the same road now.”

Seeing a coach sacked mid-season, or even mid-contract has been a very rare occurrence in rugby over the years. But this season in particular has seen that change dramatically.

Eight of the 20 Premier League clubs in football have sacked their managers this season. But rugby has already seen the likes of Jim Mallinder (Northampton), Steve Tandy (Ospreys), Less Kiss (Ulster), Guy Noves (France) and Allister Coetzee (Springboks) all sacked this season.

“There are a lot of teams at the moment looking for coaches for next year,” Gatland added

“There are seven or eight club sides or international teams looking right now.

“I’ve got no doubt, maybe it won’t be to the same extent, but that there could potentially be a merry-go-round of coaches in rugby as there is in football.”