Who will replace Johnson?
November 16, 2011
Mallinder is one option to replace the departed Johnson © Getty Images
Following Martin Johnson's resignation from the post as England's team manager, ESPNscrum runs the rule over who may replace the World Cup winning captain.
The outstanding domestic candidate, bookmakers' favourite Mallinder is the only real option if the Rugby Football Union decide the post must be filled by an Englishman. Highly respected for his work at Sale and Northampton and steered Saints to last season's Heineken Cup final by playing an attractive brand of rugby. His role in the development of young England players such Ben Foden and Courtney Lawes stands him in good stead.
Only last week Mallett expressed an interest in succeeding Johnson and the 55-year-old South African would be a highly popular choice. Led the Springboks to 17 successive Test victories between 1997-98 and impressed during his four years with Italy, a position he relinquished after the World Cup. Hugely experienced, but the RFU may not approve of his stated desire to report to the management board and not a director of rugby.
Perennially linked with England any time a vacancy comes up, South Africa's 2007 World Cup-winning coach has only recently taken over Super 15 team ACT Brumbies. Seeks a return to international rugby but has already stated the timing of the England job is wrong. However, if the RFU come calling, will he be able to turn his back on the biggest job in world rugby?
Harlequins have been the form side in the Premiership this season and O'Shea is bringing a revolutionary and attractive brand of rugby to the Stoop. Focusing on nurturing young talent rather than bringing in 'galacticos,' O'Shea could be the man to get England firing. Rob Andrew is a big fan of the former Ireland international with reports previously suggesting that he was in the frame for the now infamous performance director post along with Sir Clive Woodward.
Having guided New Zealand to World Cup glory only last month, Henry has nothing left to prove. But the challenge of leading England out of the doldrums may prove hard for the 65-year-old to resist. Henry recently stated that coaching England would lead to a "divorce", but he has already expressed interest in a development role at the Rugby Football Union and the financial rewards for replacing Johnson would be great.
And the one that got away.....
Having failed to receive an approach from England - almost certainly due to the chaos that has engulfed the RFU - he renewed his contract with Wales last weekend. So far has worked exclusively as a defence coach, but is highly regarded and would have been a candidate to replace Johnson had he still been available.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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