Smith out of England running?
February 15, 2012
Stuart Lancaster has led England to two consecutive wins in the Six Nations © Getty Images
Former All Blacks coach Wayne Smith is out of the running to become the new England head coach, according to reports.
Smith, who was part of Graham Henry's coaching team that led New Zealand to the Rugby World Cup last October, was one of the favourites for the role but he has reportedly declined an invitation to apply. The 45-year-old was put off by concerns over job description, according to The Times.
And Smith later stated that why he had no reservations over the post, it was the timing which did not suit him. "I'm interested down the track if it fits in and they [England] want me to have an involvement in talking to them," Smith told the Dominion Post. "I want to coach at that level again and that's a team that has got a fair bit of potential. But this opportunity just didn't fit in with me."
The deadline for applications for the post, which is currently being filled on an interim basis by Stuart Lancaster, passes on Wednesday. The Rugby Football Union will then draw up a shortlist, which will be considered by the five-man Professional Game Board panel that has been tasked with recruiting the new coach.
Lancaster, who submitted his application earlier in the month, has led England to victories over Scotland and Italy in the Six Nations so far as well as impressing in his off-field management and leadership of the squad. And despite the unconvincing nature of England's performances, he is believed to be among the leading candidates, along with former Italy and South Africa head coach Nick Mallett.
The Daily Telegraph reports that former Japan coach John Kirwan and former Ireland coach Eddie O'Sullivan have put their names forward for the role while London Irish's Toby Booth and Northampton Saints' Jim Mallinder are said to be the leading English candidates alongside Lancaster.
Clermont Auvergne coach Vern Cotter is seemingly to be out of contention while Sir Clive Woodward, Dean Ryan and Graham Henry are all thought to have rejected the chance to apply for the role.
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