Rugby World Cup 2015

I won’t be messed around by England again, says Jake White

Coach is believed to be wanted for top job, but has been snubbed twice before

PUBLISHED : Friday, 13 November, 2015, 11:57am
UPDATED : Friday, 13 November, 2015, 11:24pm

Montpellier boss Jake White insists he won't take part in a drawn-out application process for the vacant England head coach role.

White, who coached South Africa's 2007 World Cup-winning squad, is one of the leading candidates to replace Stuart Lancaster after he parted ways with the Rugby Football Union (RFU) in the aftermath of England's dismal World Cup campaign.

But the 52-year-old South African has twice been snubbed at the final hurdle by the RFU, when Martin Johnson took control in 2008 and when Lancaster was handed the reins in 2012.

Determined not to be messed around for a third time, White has called on RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie to install him as the organisation's top choice before he will consider succeeding Lancaster, who was widely criticised for his lack of top-level experience during England's World Cup pool stage exit.

If the RFU thinks I am the man for the job and there wasn't going to be any rigmarole of going through the whole process which I have before then I would be a contender
Jake White

“Everyone in world rugby knows this is one of the prime jobs, in fact even in world sports,” White said.

“If the RFU thinks I am the man for the job and there wasn't going to be any rigmarole of going through the whole process which I have before then I would be a contender.”

White also made it clear he had not received an approach from the RFU as he prepared to lead Montpellier into European Challenge Cup action at Harlequins.

“Nothing has happened, I haven't got any calls or anything so I just need to get on with my job,” White said.

Lancaster relinquished his head coach role by mutual consent on Wednesday and the RFU immediately launched a global search for a new boss with “proven international experience”.

No sooner had that recruitment drive begun, though, than two other leading contenders distanced themselves from the job.

Australia's Eddie Jones, appointed this week as head coach of South African club the Stormers, and New Zealander Wayne Smith both claimed they had no interest in any advances from England, despite the RFU vowing to break the bank for their new boss.

Jones took Australia to a runners-up berth in the 2003 World Cup and he inspired a memorable 2015 World Cup campaign for Japan that included toppling South Africa in one of the sport's all-time great shocks.

Smith plans to take a break from rugby after being part of the New Zealand coaching staff that led their team to World Cup final victory over Australia at Twickenham recently.