World Cup Winning Coach Wants To Succeed Stuart Lancaster
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World Cup winner Jake White is interested in succeeding Stuart Lancaster as England head coach.
The 52-year-old South African is the bookmakers’ favourite for the post, which Lancaster vacated on Wednesday.
Following a review into England’s early World Cup elimination, the Rugby Football Union said it would now begin a “global search” for a coach. New Zealand assistant coach Wayne Smith, who had been linked with the post, said he was taking a break.
He told the BBC: “I’m being clear with everyone that I’m not coaching full-time in 2016.
“I’ve had 29 years in the game as a coach and it’s time for a break. I’ll see what 2017 and beyond brings.”
Smith, 58, is taking a sabbatical having helped the All Blacks win the World Cup last month. White, meanwhile, guided South Africa to success in France in 2007.
A two-time IRB Coach of the Year, he has since coached the Brumbies and the Sharks in Super Rugby, and is currently in charge of French Top 14 side Montpellier.
Speaking to Sky Sports on Wednesday, the South African reiterated comments he had previously made about the England job.
He said: “If they genuinely think a foreign coach is the right way forward and it is genuine they think it is me, it would be naive of me to say I was not interested.”
England became the first sole host nation to be eliminated in the group stage of a Rugby World Cup, after defeats by Wales and Australia. A review into their performance followed, which led to 46-year-old Lancaster leaving his position.
RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie has not ruled out approaching a coach already under contract and said money was no object in the search for the next head coach.
Former England scrum-half Matt Dawson said England should pay whatever it takes, telling BBC Radio 5 live: “Get your chequebook and start paying. Be as arrogant as everyone thinks we are… £1m, £2m, £5m – I don’t care.”
He added: “We seem to be blooding coaches for whom it is the be all and end all of their lives. There needs to be a no-fear environment.”
Bath head coach Mike Ford, who has recently signed a new four-year deal with the Premiership club, has ruled himself out.
“I have got to win something yet,” he said on BBC Radio 5 live.
“I wouldn’t rule it out in four years’ time. I need to do these next four years, if not longer, at Bath Rugby before I feel I’m ready for an international head coach’s job.”