Elite director of the RFU Rob Andrew says he is not interested in taking over as England head coach.
Andy Robinson yesterday resigned under pressure from the RFU, leaving the post vacant. Warren Gatland, Nick Mallett, Martin Johnson and current attack coach Brian Ashton have been the men linked to the job, and Andrew’s name was recently added to the mix.
He received support from former teammate Jeremy Guscott, who said he backed Andrew as a short-term replacement for Robinson.
Andrew though said he did not envision himself as the head coach of England.
“It’s not the role I came in to do, and not the role I want to do,” Andrew told BBC Radio Five Live.
“We now have to reflect on what is required next in the context of the rest of this season and the World Cup. I don’t expect that to mean me taking temporary control.”
He added that he expected the new recruit would most likely take control before the Six Nations in February but hinted that his contract might not stretch until the World Cup.
He also admitted England’s new team boss would be more of a manager in the Sir Clive Woodward mould than a hands-on coach.
Ashton is thought to be the front runner for the position, but according to Guscott appointing him would be a mistake.
“Brian is a very good coach and I would like to see him as just a coach, just as I would have liked to see Andy Robinson concentrate on coaching,” he said.
“To combine the roles of attack coach and head coach at international level is incredibly difficult and I wouldn’t advise it. The three coaches there, Ashton, John Wells and Mike Ford, haven’t had enough time to become one.
“The coaching panel should stay as it is – I don’t think anyone should be promoted upwards.”
Guscott was in favour of Harlequins coach Dean Richards getting the job, in light of Andrew’s refusal.
“If this isn’t the job Rob wants to do, I think the ideal candidate would be Dean Richards.
“Clive Woodward didn’t coach, he managed, and the same is true of Dean Richards. He’s got a proven track record at Leicester and now at Quins.”