Rugby World Cup
RFU denies approaching Nick Mallett over England job
Tom Hamilton
October 9, 2015
England looking to go out on a high

The RFU has denied making contact with former Springboks coach Nick Mallett over the England head coach post.

Mallett was quoted in the South African press on Friday as having "received a call from England" earlier in the week sounding him out over Stuart Lancaster's job, but the RFU has denied this, saying they will push ahead with the planned post-tournament review.

"There is a clear process at the conclusion of England's tournament, which starts with the review," an RFU spokesperson said. "No prejudgements have been made nor anyone contacted."

Former South Africa and Italy coach Nick Mallett, Southern Hemisphere XV training session, Help for Heroes Rugby Challenge, Twickenham, England, December 2, 2011
Nick Mallett © Getty Images

Lancaster is under contract until 2020 and will take an active role in the review into England's disastrous World cup campaign. News of the reported Mallett approach was put to Lancaster in Friday's media session in Manchester and he was surprised by it.

"I didn't know that to be honest, that's just the nature of the situation we are in," Lancaster said. "For me it's a case of getting on with the day job."

Mallett was strongly linked with the England post back in 2011 when Martin Johnson left the RFU. He went head-to-head with Lancaster, who stepped up from England Saxons to serve as interim head coach before being offered the role full-time following the 2012 Six Nations.

Mallett, who coached South Africa from 1997 to 2000 and Italy from 2007 to 2011, is currently a Supersport pundit and he said he is content to continue in that role rather than returning to coaching.

Change is inevitable for England

News of the since-denied RFU approach was revealed in a Blue Bulls Rugby Union breakfast on Thursday morning, with Netwerk 24 quoting Mallett as saying: "I will not be considered [for the post]. I was ready for the challenge in 2011, but not now. I enjoy my job anyway [as an analyst for SuperSport] too much."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Tom Hamilton is the Associate Editor of ESPNscrum.

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