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Ellis eyes England defence role
ESPNscrum Staff
November 8, 2011

France defence coach Dave Ellis has thrown his hat in the ring for a job with the Rugby Football Union amid rumours the organisation are looking to change the England coaching set-up after their quarter-final exit in the 2011 World Cup.

The Yorkshireman has been involved with the French set-up for the past 12 years and has overseen three Grand Slams. But with France experiencing similar uncertaintly behind the scenes, Ellis is unsure whether he still has a job with Les Bleus. And with fellow defence guru Shaun Edwards also linked with England, Ellis has backed himself to work alongside the former Wasps man - if given the chance.

"I've spoken to new France coach Phillipe Saint-Andre about carrying on, but I'd love the chance to work with the Red Rose," Ellis told The Rugby Paper. "I don't see a problem of working with Shaun Edwards if he were to be involved. If they were brave enough to give him the head coach's job I'd be happy to work alongside him."

In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Ellis conceded that he is yet to hear back from Saint-Andre over whether he is part of the former Sale and Toulon boss' plans for France but having spent time with London Irish last season, Ellis believes his knowledge of the Premiership would put him in good stead for a job if the RFU came calling. And Ellis has earmarked Morgan Parra's switch to fly-half as an example of where the English coaching set-up have perhaps missed a trick in the past.

"With all the rumblings around the RFU at the moment there could well be a few changes, and especially with the World Cup coming to England in 2015 it's vital that they get things right," Ellis said. "Martin Johnson hasn't been there that long but the rest of the coaching staff have been there for a while so it's time for a change.

"I've already got experience of working with a lot of the young guys in the Premiership and that is definitely something that England need to improve.

"If you look at the French team someone like Morgan Parra already has 36 caps at the age of 22 and you saw how well he slotted in out of position in the World Cup knock-out games.

"I'm sure there are English players who could do the same, and it's up to whoever works with them, whether I'm involved or not, to make sure these people get their chance."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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