Ford set for England defence coach role

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The Independent Online

Saracens' head coach, Mike Ford, looks certain to be named as England's defence coach, even though the closing date for applications is this Friday 12 May.

Ford, 40, indicated that his future at Saracens was unclear when he said after Saturday's defeat at London Irish: "I've got a meeting with Saracens next week, I think it's Wednesday, when we are going to sit down and talk about the coaching structure.

"They've got ideas of changing it and they want to sit down with me and see where I fit in."

According to Ford, the former Wigan and Great Britain rugby league scrum-half, the chief executive of the Rugby Football Union, Francis Baron, has contacted Saracens to clear the way for an approach.

Ford, who joined Saracens in 2004, has experience at the highest level, having been Ireland's defence coach for four years, until November last year.

He has seen his position at Saracens eroded with the arrival of the former Australia coach Eddie Jones in a consultant role this season and the appointment of another Australian, Alan Gaffney, as director of rugby for next season.