Tuesday’s rugby news has Hooper cited, more English misery, a coaching rule-infringement and Eddie Jones looking at more job offers.
Hooper in doubt
The Wallabies could be without vice-captain Michael Hooper for the crunch Rugby World Cup match with Wales after the flanker was cited in Saturday’s victory over England. Hooper was allegedly “charging into the ruck or maul without use of the arms or grasping the player” when he cleared out England fullback Mike Brown .
Hooper, who was penalised but not yellow-carded for the incident, faces a hearing in London on Tuesday. Michael Cheika was confident there would be no action: “At best he got penalised. They made the call there,” he said. If Hooper was unavailable, the Wallabies coach will turn to either Ben McCalman or Sean McMahon.
English team slips to eighth
England have dropped to eighth in the world rankings following their World Cup exit. The latest rankings, released by World Rugby, show Stuart Lancaster’s side have dropped to their lowest-ever position after they became the first host nation to exit the World Cup without reaching the knockout stages.
Australia’s victory has moved them up a place behind New Zealand to second with Wales down a place to third. The timing of the rankings for this year’s World Cup have been roundly criticised. When the draw was made, Wales had been winless in their November 2012 Tests and dropped to ninth before a return to form saw England, Wales and Australia all within the top-5 in Pool A.
Coaches facing sanction
World Rugby is investigating reports that England’s coaching staff made an illegal approach to match officials at half-time in their loss to Australia. Two England coaches reportedly made the approach as the two teams left the field at Twickenham on Saturday with England trailing 3-17.
“World Rugby is investigating an alleged breach by the England coaching team of the match-day communications protocol between match officials and team members or union officials,” said a World Rugby statement. Media reports have suggested that there is CCTV footage from the tunnel where the alleged incident took place.
Jones open to job offers
Japan coach Eddie Jones has said he is open to an approach from the RFU about coaching England. However, the former Australia boss believes Stuart Lancaster deserves a fair review first following England’s early exit from the World Cup.
“A proper review is needed to find out why they changed strategy halfway through the tournament,” Jones said. “A lot of time has been invested in to Lancaster and his squad have enormous potential, so he needs to convince the board that he can take those youngsters forward to 2019.” Jones said it had been an error to dump fly-half George Ford for Owen Farrell for the match against Wales.