Germany hire Ford to coach RWC playoff team

Mike Ford (Getty)
Mike Ford (Getty)

Berlin - Facing a four-team repechage for a place at the Rugby World Cup, Germany have hired Mike Ford, the former England and British Lions defence coach and Bath and Toulon head coach. 

"I am delighted that I now have the opportunity to develop such an ambitious team as Germany, and possibly even lead them to a World Cup for the first time," said Ford in German Rugby Federation (DRV) statement. 

Germany were thrashed in a playoff for an automatic spot in Japan next year, by Samoa in July. 

Germany have another chance to qualify for a maiden World Cup in the repechage competition in Marseille. They play Hong Kong on November 11, Canada on November 17 and Kenya on November 23. 

"Of course it is a big challenge, but that is what makes this task so attractive," Ford said. "I think that this national team has a lot of potential." 

Germany, whose front-line players and coaching staff all stood down at the end of 2017 in a dispute with the federation, finished fifth, and last, in the final, scandal-hit, European qualifying group for teams outside the Six Nations. 

They were promoted to second, behind Russia, after Belgium, Spain and Romania suffered points deductions for fielding ineligible players. 

The DRV stressed in the statement that German-born Swiss businessman Hans-Peter Wild, the owner of Stade Francais in the French Top 14, had given financial support to help "exploit this unique opportunity."

They said they had hired Ford "with immediate effect." 

The statement said that the 52-year-old Englishman, a former Great Britain rugby league international, was taking a "sabbatical" from his position as coach of the Dallas Griffins, who plan to plan to join the Major Rugby League next year.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
loading... Live
Kaizer Chiefs 0
Moroka Swallows 0
Voting Booth
What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Rugby
40% - 14012 votes
Cricket
13% - 4356 votes
Football
19% - 6511 votes
Athletics
3% - 898 votes
Boxing
1% - 336 votes
Cycling
2% - 808 votes
Golf
5% - 1756 votes
Motorsport
9% - 2959 votes
Tennis
3% - 1212 votes
Water sports
1% - 318 votes
American sports
1% - 433 votes
MMA / WWE / UFC
3% - 1163 votes
Vote