Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Rowntree and Lancaster for 6 Nations

The Rugby Football Union will not name a new permanent England coach until after next year's Six Nations, BBC Sport understands.

Current assistant Graham Rowntree and Saxons head coach Stuart Lancaster will take temporary charge for the tournament starting in February.

The RFU wants a full-time replacement for Martin Johnson in place before England tour South Africa in June.

Nick Mallett and Jim Mallinder are among those tipped for the role.

Northampton director of rugby Mallinder has declared an interest in the job, while former Italy and South Africa coach Mallett said he would consider it but not until after the Six Nations.

Also in the running are Jake White and Eddie Jones, who jointly coached South Africa to win the 2007 World Cup, and two former All Blacks who are now established coaches, John Kirwan and Wayne Smith.

England's director of elite rugby Rob Andrew will lead the search for Johnson's replacement.

Former Leicester and England prop Rowntree, 40, is a familiar face in the recent national set-up, having been appointed by the RFU as a specialist coach in June 2007 before becoming assistant to Martin Johnson in August 2008.

He was one of the few figures to emerge with any credit from recent leaked World Cup reports into England's poor showing at the World Cup.

Ex-Leeds back-rower Lancaster was appointed as the RFU's Head of Elite Player Development in 2007 following a spell as director of rugby with the Yorkshire club.

He has also been Saxons head coach for the last three years.

Johnson resigned as England manager 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.

The RFU is currently in crisis following the leaking of the World Cup reports.

On Tuesday, chief executive Martyn Thomas - who had previously announced his intention to leave the RFU on 16 December - vacated the role with immediate effect, with Stephen Brown filling the vacancy on a temporary basis.

Former England coach Sir Clive Woodward, who led the side to World Cup success in 2003, said recently that the RFU should wait until a new chief executive is in place before making a decision on a new coach.