International Rugby
Mallett eyes England job
ESPNscrum Staff
November 11, 2011
Italy coach Nick Mallett, Italy training session, Villabassa, near Toblach Hochpustertal, Italy, July 13, 2011
Mallett parted company with Italy following the recent Rugby World Cup © Getty Images

Former South Africa and Italy coach Nick Mallett has signalled his interest in taking charge of England if current boss Martin Johnson parts company with the Rugby Football Union (RFU).

Johnson's position is currently being reviewed by his employers in the wake of a troubled Rugby World Cup campaign with his future in the role and the make-up of the England coaching team the subject of intense speculation in recent weeks. Mallett is reportedly the leading candidate to fill any potential void having completed a four-year spell with the Azzurri at the recent World Cup.

But the English-born Mallett, who spoke to the RFU in 2006 before the England job was given to Brian Ashton, is wary of the political turmoil within English rugby's governing body. "The England job is one of the prime posts in the world, it's a huge job," the 55-year-old told the Evening Standard. "It's not only the performance of the team on the field that needs freshening up, it also the performance of the guys off the pitch. There is a lot to do and it's a real challenge.

"But first of all you have to sort out what's happening at the Union and who you phone to pitch for the job. I don't know who that person would be in the England set-up. In 2006 I was asked to apply for the head coach job with England and I had my views on the director-of-rugby role at the RFU. My view is fairly simple; the head coach should answer to the management board, not to a director of rugby who may have less experience."

Mallett, who coached the Springboks between 1997 and 2000, added, "Patently, with the Six Nations beginning at the start of February, the RFU will have to decide if they are going to offer it [the team manager job] to Martin Johnson but that is totally separate to sorting out the management of the Union. It is an unusual situation where there is no chairman or chief executive and the performance director [Rob Andrew] is writing his report and will present to a board that are vaguely in disarray."

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