Mallett puts future on hold

2011-11-22 16:25
Nick Mallett (File)
London - Nick Mallett won't be taking charge of the England rugby side - at least not until after the Six Nations.

Having already turned down an initial approach from the Rugby Football Union to replace Martin Johnson, the former South Africa and Italy coach said on Tuesday that he will take some time to decide his next move.

British media have continued to link Mallett with the vacant post and the English-born South African is still rated a 14-1 fifth favourite by bookmakers to take the role.

He is in demand, with clubs in France also interested in his services.

"I've not spoken to anyone about international coaching positions," Mallett said. "But I would consider each on their own merits if it happens. I have been contacted regarding a few coaching jobs in the (French) Top 14, but I don't think I'll take anything before June 2012."

Mallett turned down the approach from the RFU because he does not want to report to director Rob Andrew, instead preferring to be answerable to a management board.

Andrew said last week he will not follow Johnson in resigning despite England's World Cup failure. Rated one of the pre-tournament contenders, England laboured to victory over Argentina, and racked up routine wins over Georgia and Romania before struggling to edge Scotland to a place in the next round.

With questionable selections and off-field indiscipline dominating headlines, England then lost to France in the quarter-finals.

With the Six Nations less than three months away and the European season approaching its halfway point, the RFU may have to appoint a caretaker coach for its title defense. Second-string coach Stuart Lancaster is a possible candidate for such a role.

The 55-year-old Mallett led South Africa to a record 17 straight Test wins from 1997-98 and was feted for helping turn Italy into a competitive side with notable wins over Scotland, France and Argentina.

Mallett stepped down last month after Italy exited the Rugby World Cup and is preparing to coach a southern hemisphere side in a December 3 charity match at Twickenham to help raise funds for wounded military personnel.

"My only commitment from a coaching point of view is the 'Help for Heroes' game," Mallett said. "I've been asked to coach the southern hemisphere team with Wayne Smith. That is an exciting prospect."

Read more on:    international rugby  |  nick mallett

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