Picture the scene; Six Nations 2030, a packed stadium of 50,000 cheering fans, a large green pocket of Irish travelling fans surrounded by maroon shirts. Hold on, Maroon? It’s not that the Welsh shirts had a France shirt mixed up in the wash, it’s Georgia.
This was always a race against time for Steve Jackson. The Samoan head coach was only appointed to the role last September, chosen from a list of 40 applicants and handed ownership of a team that had to qualify for this World Cup via a two-legged play-off against Germany.
Since the advent of professionalism and the rise in the status of the Rugby World Cup after its rushed introduction in 1987 against the wishes of the four unions in Britain and Ireland, the sport at international level now tends to operate in four-year cycles.