Anthony Seibold settles into England rugby, pays tribute to captain Owen Farrell


“At the weekend, we showed we were able to handle that, disruption, if you want to call it that,” Seibold said, referring to Farrell’s false positive.

Replacement prop Joe Marler has contracted COVID19.

Replacement prop Joe Marler has contracted COVID19.Credit:PA

“I’ve been really impressed with the way the group handled this morning. Yesterday late evening, we got some news that we had to go back to our rooms. I think we’ve handled it in the right manner. We had a bit of a delayed start to the morning because we’re waiting for some results, but it’s been business as usual. The group has handled that distraction, or disruption so to speak, and I thought we had a really positive training session.”

The Wallabies have plenty of their own distractions, with scans on his hamstring expected to rule out winger Jordan Petaia. The squad’s two tight-head props, Allan Alaalatoa and Taniela Tupou, are still observing return-to-play protocols after head knocks in the loss to Scotland.

It is a dramatic start to Seibold’s rugby coaching career. The Queenslander said he’d been in touch with England coach Jones since his Rabbitohs days but cemented the relationship during a personal development trip to England in 2018. He met with Jones and spent time at some Premiership rugby clubs, including Farrell’s side Saracens.

“One thing I walked away with was the leadership and the way Owen spoke in the meetings really resonated with me,” Seibold said. “I looked back at some of the senior players I have coached in my time and the way they spoke, he was very clear in what he wanted and he certainly supported what the coaches wanted.

“Before we came into camp I contacted Owen and we had a Zoom chat and a bit of a chat about defence and the areas that he had seen that England had done well over the last couple of seasons and areas to do better.

“He is a real leader, him along with Courtney Lawes and Jonny May on the wing are three guys who have a real impact on the [defence]. It was a real good opportunity a few years [ago] and it was great to see Owen up close. Now working with him, I see his appetite to be a leader and I have enjoyed the last couple of weeks.”

Seibold has replaced Kiwi John Mitchell as the England defensive coach, after what he described as a call out of the blue from Jones.

It came after a tortuous final season in charge of the Broncos, which culminated in a mutually agreed parting of ways. Brisbane lost 25 of their 40 games under Seibold, earning the 47-year-old the dubious honour of being the only coach to leave the club without a winning ratio.


He joins England at a critical time in the side’s cycle building up to the 2023 World Cup and will be put to the test under the famously torrid working environment of Australian Jones.

“I’ve been here for two and half weeks so far. I’ve been super impressed with the professionalism of the staff and players and I’ve really enjoyed myself but I know there are some bigger tests to come over the next couple of weeks,” he said.

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Watch every match of the Wallabies, All Blacks & Springboks Spring Tours on the Home of Rugby, Stan Sport. Continues this weekend featuring Scotland v South Africa (Saturday, 11:50pm AEDT), Ireland v New Zealand (Sunday, 2:05am AEDT) and England v Australia (Sunday, 4:00am AEDT).

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