English Rugby
Kirwan wants England job
ESPNscrum Staff
November 25, 2011
Japan coach John Kirwan watches on, New Zealand v Japan, Rugby World Cup, Waikato Stadium, Hamilton, New Zealand, September 16, 2011
Kirwan has held posts with Japan and Italy © Getty Images

Former Japan coach John Kirwan has thrown his hat into the ring for the vacant England job.

With the Rugby Football Union currently embroiled in the midst of controversy resulting from the three leaked reports, Rob Andrew has stated that "this is rock bottom. This is the lowest of the low." But Kirwan does not see the current state of play at the RFU as a deterrent. Instead the former All Blacks winger would relish the challenge presented by the post and, if given the opportunity, would look to unleash England's attacking potential.

"It would be an honour for me to coach the English side. I think it would be a fantastic job." Kirwan told The Guardian. "The team is really exciting. I'm a head coach but I specialise in attack and unleashing the England attack would be something really exciting."

Stuart Lancaster has been rumoured to be taking control of the England team through the 2012 Six Nations in a caretaker role, but Kirwan would be happy with taking on the post on a temporary basis with a view to a longer contract.

"There's always ups and downs," Kirwan said. "For me as the head coach you need to understand and have a working relationship with the people above you but the main job is to make sure everything is functioning underneath you and the team is performing to the best of its ability.

"I've worked at some interesting places like Italy - I understand the Six Nations and Italy had its challenges as well from that point of view. The buffer (between players and executives) is the head coach. What happens above me should not affect the players."

England's younger players largely came out of the leaked reports with their reputation intact and Kirwan has earmarked that as an area for optimism. "As a head coach I think the job would be very exciting because of the quality of the Premiership - I watch most games - and the team would be an exciting one. There are a few things that as a coach I look at and think: 'Yeah, there's challenges but it's certainly a challenge that excites me.'

"I don't want to criticise what's gone before me; I've lots of respect for Martin - winning the Six Nations last year they played some really good footie. But Chris Ashton, Ben Foden, Toby Flood - as an attack coach that sort of calibre of player really excites me."

"You could really unleash those guys. For me to move a team like that forward would be a really big challenge."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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