White ends interest in England job
March 9, 2012
Former Boks coach Jake White has ended his interest in the England coaching job © Getty Images
Jake White has confirmed that he has rejected the chance to take over as England coach.
The Rugby World Cup-winning former South Africa coach emerged as a leading candidate for the post earlier this week following an approach from the Rugby Football Union (RFU). The 48-year-old, eight months into a four-year contract with Canberra-based Super Rugby side the Brumbies, subsequently signified his interest in a return to the international stage but has now opted to commit his future to his current side.
Writing on Twitter, White said: "Always hard turning down a chance to win a world cup, but rugby is about making the right decisions and that's to stay with @BrumbiesRugby".
The Brumbies confirmed yesterday that their recently-acquired coach had been targeted by the RFU who are looking for a permanent successor to Martin Johnson who quit in the after last year's Rugby World Cup. White had reportedly made the shortlist for the role alongside interim head coach Stuart Lancaster and another former Springboks coach Nick Mallett but his decision to withdraw appears to leave it as a straight battle between the latter.
Mallett, who coached the Boks to a then record 17-Test winning run during his tenure between 1997 and 2000, is widely considered the favourite for the nod despite having initially rejected an initial approach to apply for the job last November when Johnson stood down. The 55-year-old cited family reasons for remaining in South Africa having parted company with Italy after the recent World Cup but it is understood he has since met with RFU officials and signalled his willingness to start work ahead of England's three-Test series with the Springboks this summer.
Lancaster stepped into the breach ahead this year's Six Nations and has earned widespread praise for lifting the gloom surrounding the side in the wake of a troubled World Cup campaign. Victories over Scotland and Italy in his side's opening Championship fixtures boosted his chances of claiming the job on a full time basis but England's Grand Slam hopes were dashed by a home defeat to Wales in their latest outing.
Lancaster, who had no previous Test match experience, formally applied for the permanent position and is expected to be interviewed before the end of the Six Nations.
More to follow...
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