Mallett is outstanding man for Red Rose job, says Kirwan
Saturday 03 March 2012
Nick Mallett should be the next England coach, according to John Kirwan, who will not be considered for the post after being told by the Rugby Football Union's headhunters that he was not experienced enough.
Kirwan has coached at three Rugby World Cups with Italy and Japan, but knew his best chance was if the RFU wanted "a breath of fresh air" and were prepared to take "a risk" over the appointment. It was not. The headhunters Odgers Berndtson got in touch and informed Kirwan that he was not being put forward to the interview stage because he had not coached a leading rugby nation.
Kirwan was told there were two other candidates who did meet that criterion – one is likely to be Mallett, the former South Africa coach, and the other is the ex-Ireland coach Eddie O'Sullivan.
England's current interim coach Stuart Lancaster has also reached the interview stage. But if the RFU's brief is for a coach with sustained, top-flight international experience, then that would count against him no matter what England achieve in the remainder of the Six Nations.
"They [Odgers] contacted me saying I wouldn't go on to the next stage because they had a couple of other candidates that had more international experience than me," Kirwan said. "They were looking for someone with a higher international profile. I understand that. They started out with something in mind and they are heading down that track.
"I think Nick Mallett would be perfect for it. Nick is the ideal mix. He is highly intelligent, he understands what a team needs to win and he gets the best out of players. It will be a high-pressure situation [coaching England] into a home World Cup [in 2015]. I think Nick would be a great candidate."
The RFU will be conducting interviews over the next three weeks with a view to making an appointment before the end of the Six Nations.
Lancaster has restored a sense of pride in the national team and his work to clean up the image of English rugby has impressed Twickenham executives. But one of the key factors the RFU's new chief executive, Ian Ritchie, must weigh up before making his recommendation to the board is Lancaster's lack of international inexperience compared with the track record of a potential candidate such as Mallett or O'Sullivan.
Lancaster has been in charge for three Tests: two dogged away wins against Scotland and Italy followed by a home defeat to Wales.
Arsenal transfer news and rumours: Gabriel Paulista sent to Paris to speed up move; Luis Suarez bid planned; Gunners eye Daniele Rugani
Chelsea vs Liverpool match report: Branislav Ivanovic seals classic semi-final with extra-time header to send Blues to Wembley
Gabriel Paulista: Talented Brazilian could grow into world-class defender at Arsenal
Andy Murray vs Tomas Berydch: Murray cool over reunion with coach Dani Vallverdu at the Australian Open
Transfer news live: Gabriel Paulista to Arsenal CONFIRMED; Juan Cuadrado to Chelsea; Liverpool close in on £14m Ezequiel Lavezzi
- 1 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 3 Mystery man who gave mum heart-warming note on train 'wanted to put a smile on her face'
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures