Sir Clive Woodward has suggested where England should look first for a new coach following Stuart Lancaster’s departure on Wednesday.
The former World Cup-winning manager suggests that the RFU look to their own before considering a foreign coach.
In his Daily Mail column, Woodward explains that a big name from outside of England may not necessarily mean improved results.
“A big name is not necessarily the right name. I have no doubt this in part is a failsafe approach. They are under pressure and feel as though they have to make a big appointment here.
“And after all, who could blame them again down the line if they were to appoint a big name now? But it is a shame some of our proven Premiership coaches – probably headed by Northampton’s Jim Mallinder and Exeter’s Rob Baxter – will not be considered.”
Woodward added: “We must find a way of tapping into some of the great English rugby brains out there — Lawrence Dallaglio, Ben Kay, Will Greenwood, Matt Dawson. Time is of the essence but let’s see if there is not an English way forward first before we bolt for an overseas coach.
“The immediate future is very confused and time is short before the opening Six Nations game against Scotland at Murrayfield on February 6.”
While Woodward puts a case forward for England-based coaches to take up the job, he also acknowledges the benefits of appointing some of world rugby’s best coaches.
“My first, gut reaction, was to get out in the market place and recruit the very best man that money can buy, whether that be Jones, Cheika, Wayne Smith or whoever,” he writes in the Daily Mail.
“And that could still be the way forward. If one of the really big hitters was genuinely interested you would have to look at that very closely. Clearly the RFU are not going to risk putting another rookie international coach in the arena.”
Although it’s all been doom and gloom effectively since Wales snatched victory against the Red Rose at this year’s World Cup, Woodward remains positive about England’s future.
“What we do need though are the right people running the team, focusing only on the next game, backed 100 per cent by rugby men at Twickenham who know the rugby business.
“We need a highly motivated coaching team, great selection and a coherent game plan. Get that right and England’s future can still be very bright.”