Dean Richards will be new England rugby coach

Dean Richards will be new the England rugby coach .

No, it hasn’t happened yet, but that’s my bet now and here’s why: on Tuesday, Eddie Jones committed himself contractually to the Queensland Reds. He’s definitely there until the end of May 2007 when the Super 14 ends – it’s not beyond the bounds of possibility that he’d be available for England after that.

This afternoon Sir Clive Woodward ‘s pick for the job, Nick Mallett , is reported to have ruled out the England job, at least according to his current boss.

I met with Nick yesterday and he told me he had no interest in the England job. We’re in negotiations to extend his contract for a further year.

The list of potential candidates for England coach now looks something like this:

  • Rob Andrew (ruled himself out)
  • Warren Gatland (boss ruled him out)
  • Eddie Jones (ruled himself out)
  • Martin Johnson (ruled himself out)
  • Nick Mallett (boss ruled him out)
  • Dean Richards (said he “could be persuaded”)
  • Jake White (worked hard to cement his tenuous hold on the South Africa job – unlikely to quit before Rugby World Cup 2007)
  • Brian Ashton (current attack coach)
  • A N Other (is there anyone else suitable who’s available? I don’t think so)

You saw it here first.

Update:

Jilm over on boards.ie mentions another possibility – Brian Ashton:

Brian Ashton getting a promotion to Head Coach – even just for the short term – might be a possibility.

I don’t think Ashton will get it because Andrew doesn’t want to appoint from within the current administration. A new, outside candidate is what he needs politically. English rrugby is far from appointment by merit at this stage. It looks like the BBC disagree with me:

England could have a new head coach as early as Wednesday – and the hot tip for the job appears to be Brian Ashton.

Ashton, England’s attack coach under former boss Andy Robinson, is thought to be the choice of new Rugby Football Union elite director Rob Andrew.

Rob, seriously, you might want to give this a little more thought. Didn’t you say that you would take the time necessary to find the right man for the job?

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