Australians ruling England in the coaching ranks

Wayne Bennett, Eddie Jones and Trevor Bayliss - three Australians who now coach England national teams. Photos / Getty Images / AP
Wayne Bennett, Eddie Jones and Trevor Bayliss - three Australians who now coach England national teams. Photos / Getty Images / AP

It's enough to make English sports fans choke on their warm beer.

Australian coaches are now at the helm of three of the nation's major sporting sides after Wayne Bennett was appointed to guide England's rugby league team toward the 2017 World Cup.

He joins Eddie Jones, whose reign as England's rugby union side starts in earnest when the Six Nations tournament kicks off this weekend, and Trevor Bayliss, who took over the national cricket team last May.

The three high-profile national team appointments for Australians in the last nine months follow a trend that strengthened in the lead up to the London Olympics.

Notably Australian cycling coaches helped hosts Great Britain to win 13 medals, including eight golds, in London.

The best known was Shane Sutton, the current technical director of British Cycling, now targeting the Rio Olympics.

In the water in 2012, Australian Paul Thompson helped guide their double scull pair to rowing gold ahead of Aussies Kim Crow and Brooke Pratley, while Aussie Paul Reedy helped Great Britain to gold in the double scull.

Those appointments followed that of Aussie Bill Sweetenham as national swimming performance director after Great Britain's barren 2000 Sydney Olympics.

He helped them rebound to eight medals, including two golds, at the 2003 World Championships in Barcelona.

Now if only the British could find an Australian to teach them how to keep their beer in a refrigerated state.

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