Mallett not interested in England job - for now
November 28, 2011
Mallett is concerned by the current malaise at the Rugby Football Union © Getty Images
Nick Mallett has confirmed he will not be applying for the vacant England job insisting that "now is just not the right time for me" - but he has not ruled out linking up with the Rugby Football Union in the future.
The former South Africa and Italy coach was strongly linked with the position following Martin Johnson's decision to step down in the wake of a disappointing Rugby World Cup campaign but ruled himself out of the running earlier this month. The 55-year-old later revealed he would be taking a six month break from the game and would consider any offers on their own merit on his return but has moved to quell speculation that he could yet step into the England breach in time for the Six Nations that kicks off in February.
Talking to Sky Sports News, the ex-Boks boss re-affirmed his desire to take a step back from the game having parted company with Italy following the World Cup. "I've just got back to South Africa after the World Cup and my children are in Cape Town and Johannesburg and my wife is very keen to spend some time with them. The other [reason] is that the RFU have issues to sort out prior to making the post available and so timing is not great at the moment.
"The RFU have issues to sort out prior to making the post available and so timing is not great at the moment. There might be a time that would be appropriate, but it's hypothetical, we have to wait and see what happens with regard to the RFU."
The RFU approached Mallett earlier this month to enquire about his availability, should Johnson resign, and the English-born coach told them then of his desire to spend more time with his family. Asked whether he might reconsider his choice were the RFU to come calling again, Mallett said, "Immediately, no, but in the future, I think yes. There are various issues that they need to sort out and there are various issues from my side that I need to sort out with the family, but you can never say no to a job of this nature.
"It's a fantastic coaching job, one of the top five possibly in the world if you include the three Southern hemisphere teams and France, a huge job with massive interest, a massive union and if you love coaching, which I do - I'm not going to end up not coaching - then I'm not going to say no, I'm not going to ever do the job.
"It's not in my court at the moment. I don't think an application has been put out, at the moment the RFU is still busy trying to work out how it's going to resolve the administrative issues that have come about from the fallout following the World Cup. So those are the initial issues, there's a Six Nations to be played and by January you've got to start preparing the team, so from a timing point of view I've said now is just not the right time for me. But there might be a time that would be appropriate, but it's hypothetical, we have to wait and see what happens with regard to the RFU."
Earlier reports suggested Mallett was not happy with the current structure of the RFU and would only report to the management - rather than any performance or elite rugby director. "I think first of all you have to understand whether you're going to be appointing for two years or four years; whether you're appointing an interim coach and waiting to see how they do, whether you would then confirm that position or whether it's just a holding position," he explained.
"There's so many issues that have to be sorted out from the RFU's point of view. Also, who does the head coach answer to? The role of the director of rugby? There really are big issues that need to be sorted out for the RFU's side before they can make a decision about what kind of tenure or what kind of coach they're going to appoint."
New Zealand's World Cup-winning assistant coach Wayne Smith, another strong candidate, indicated he would be unavailable until next summer. Smith is committed to the Waikato Chiefs for two years but has a break clause that comes into effect in August. "I'm interested in coming back to the UK. I want to come back, but what it will be to do I don't know."
Mallett and Smith are coaching the Southern Hemisphere against the Northern Hemisphere in a match staged to raise money for the Help for Heroes charity. Danny Grewcock, Will Greenwood, Ben Cohen, Andrew Mehrtens and Justin Marshall are among the players who will join servicemen and emerging academy talent at Twickenham.
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