Nick Mallett says he will not be an immediate replacement for Martin Johnson as England coach - but would consider the job after the Six Nations.
The former Italy and South Africa coach also made it clear he would not report to a director of rugby.
"The ball is in the [Rugby Football Union]'s court. I am sure there will be a plethora of coaches applying for this position," Mallett, 55, told BBC Sport.
"I am now [out of the running] but wouldn't rule myself out in future."
He added: "I'd like to spend some time in South Africa with my children, who I've hardly seen over the past four years, so the timing is not good at the moment."
Mallett, who revealed last week he was approached by the RFU about applying for the post, added: "I've made it clear that a head coach should report to the board, not a director of rugby.
"You wouldn't find Graham Henry or Jake White reporting to a director of rugby. I didn't report to one and neither did Clive Woodward.
"The responsibility of the team is with the head coach and that's how I would see the job in the future," said Mallett, who interviewed for the England job in 2006 before Brian Ashton was appointed.
Johnson resigned after a troubled World Cup campaign in New Zealand, which saw his team beaten by France in the quarter-finals and involved in a string of off-field controversies.
English-born Mallett, who guided the Springboks to 17 consecutive Test victories in 1997-98 and into the semi-finals of the 1999 Rugby World Cup, said the timing of the vacancy is a problem for him.
"The England job would entail taking the post in time for the Six Nations, which would mean the new manager would have to be in place by 1 December to get to know all the players.
"But who knows, there might be a situation in the future where the timing is better. My family comes first and there are issues within the RFU that need to be resolved."