O'Connor open to joining England staff
May 12, 2012
Matt O'Connor with Richard Cockerill in 2010 © Getty Images
Leicester head coach Matt O'Connor has put up his hand to join Stuart Lancaster's England coaching staff if Mike Catt does not remain in the role of attacking coach.
Catt has been appointed the position for England's upcoming tour of South Africa, but Lancaster has stated numerous times that he is "open-minded" about a long-term solution. O'Connor, who accused England in March of not wanting "creative players… and just trying not to lose", now says he would relish the opportunity to spark Lancaster's side.
"I'd love to be involved internationally, whether that be with England or not," O'Connor told the Telegraph. "With the resources England have got, and with the quality of player in this country, it could be a very exciting prospect.
"I've certainly got aspirations to coach internationally. The international stage is the pinnacle and I'd love to challenge myself at that level."
O'Connor, a former coach of the ACT Brumbies in his native Australia, also clarified the comments he made when defending Leicester half-backs Ben Youngs and Toby Flood following their exclusion from the England squad earlier this year.
"England were playing a certain brand of rugby under that regime," said O'Connor. "Look, I don't have any dramas if you want to pick players to play in a certain way.
"I was offended that there was a broader perception that Ben and Toby were struggling for confidence or out of form. They weren't with us. Look at our record.
"If you want to pick blokes that can help you score more tries than the opposition, then how can you not pick these two? Ben and Toby are world-class, the equal of anything in the southern hemisphere."
© ESPN EMEA Ltd
"The fans could not be happier with the opposition and it adds an exciting element to a game that is shaping up as a thriller." Ben Kay previews the Premiership final showdown
"If there was a cross breed of canine called an Underdogdoodle it would win best in show at Crufts." Mark Durden-Smith looks at the Aviva Premiership Final
With the Lions' tour to Australia fast-approaching, ESPN's Austin Healey and Mark Durden-Smith sat down to share their memories of the 2001 trip Down Under
Ask John answers questions on the Leopards' tour to Italy in 1974, brotherly Test sides, Pat McGrath, England's games against the Barbarians and Jacques Brunel