Former South Africa coach Jake White would be interested in taking over from Stuart Lancaster as England boss, should the Red Rose’s current incumbent move on.
With England becoming the first sole host nation to be knocked out of the World Cup at the pool stage, discussion has instinctively turned to the possibility of a fresh approach being taken and yesterday’s news that Japan coach Eddie Jones is interested in the role has today been followed by news of White’s keenness.
“England have everything going for them in terms of resources, players and history,’ White told the Daily Mail.
“If they were genuinely interested and they approached me, of course I would be interested. It’s one of the biggest jobs in world sport and you’d be crazy not to consider it.”
While White is interested in the role now, he says it’s not the first time he’s been asked about the job.
“When I was with the Boks, I was approached to put my name in for Rob Andrew’s job. Then they contacted me before appointing Martin Johnson and Stuart Lancaster.
“All three times, they’ve gone for English people. Generally it’s used as a means to make the other candidates look like they have a bit of credence.”
White goes on to state that England have been going backwards since their 2003 World Cup victory and that in the final he won against England in 2007 with South Africa the Red Rose were a ‘shambles.’
‘Since 2003, England have been going backwards,’ White told the Daily Mail.
‘They made the final in 2007 but it was a shambles. In 2011 they got knocked out early and in 2015 they got knocked out even earlier.
“For a big rugby nation like England to be eighth in the world isn’t right. International rugby shouldn’t be a learning curve for coaches. It’s a business now.
“The last three World Cups must send a message; if you go for a coach who’s never coached international rugby, it’s going to be same old, same old.
“They’ve tried it with Andy Robinson, Martin Johnson and Stuart Lancaster. They have one of the biggest budgets in the world but their coaches only have a few years’ experience.”
The 52-year-old certainly has some strong opinions about what the future coach of England should look like and having had plenty of international coaching experience, he certainly fits his own billing for the role.
It has, however, been eight years since he managed an international side, so White may also still need time to get used to the international set up once again, albeit having worked as a technical advisor with Tonga briefly last year.
Whichever one of the candidates does come out on top, it is safe to say Lancaster’s future is far from certain after a disastrous World Cup. The Red Rose play for pride this Saturday when they come up against Uruguay at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester.
Rob Lyons, Pundit Arena