Best rules out return to current England set up
London Irish coach Dick Best has confirmed that he is not interested in the role of assistant England coach.
The former England coach had been one of the candidates lined up to replace John Mitchell - but Best said he would only consider returning to the England fold if he was given the position of head coach.
"The last time I was an assistant coach was on the Lions tour to New Zealand in 1993 under Ian McGeechan and I don't plan on returning to an assistant's role. I am happy in my job at London Irish and I have a contract which lasts for another year and I am looking to negotiate an extension to that.I will meet with the chairman next week and discuss that extension, but it is correct to say that I would only consider an England role in a main coach's capacity."
Best also said he believes England do not have a psychological problem when it comes to winning big matches and backed the current team to continue improving. Best, who was sacked as England coach in 1994 and was involved in the selection process for this year's Six Nations championship, refused to write off England's chances on the world stage - despite their soul-destroying Grand Slam loss to Scotland on Sunday. "If this was exactly the same team who played in the Five Nations against Wales last year, then you may be able to say that there is a psychological problem in the big game. But this is a new team and a developing one. There were nearly a third of the people missing from this time last year and I don't believe there is any kind of psychological block with England. It was a classic case of school side versus the big side and at the end of the day it came down to 15 men versus 15 men and tactics went out of the window. It was a case of Scotland playing the more naked aggression and ultimately it carried them to the victory."
And Best is backing Woodward's men to go on and win at least one Test in South Africa during the summer, believing they are capable of performing with the big guns of the Southern Hemisphere.
"It'll be about fitness and ability when it comes to the high altitude of South Africa," added Best. "I really believe that they will go there and do very well indeed. This is a very fit England team and they are very capable of winning those matches in South Africa," he said. "Those sorts of sides are a major focus for England now and when you look at the Six Nations they took four steps forward and only fell at the final hurdle. There has been huge improvement with this team and I think they can go on from here."