England not ruling out approach to re-hire Leinster coach Stuart Lancaster

ENGLAND MAY YET consider re-hiring Stuart Lancaster as the RFU prepare to launch a search for a coach to join Eddie Jones’ backroom team after the 2019 World Cup.

RFU chiefs reportedly want Jones, the current head coach, to mentor his eventual successor, and Lancaster could be one of the potential candidates lined up by interim chief executive Nigel Melville.

Jones is contracted with the RFU to 2021, with Melville revealing the plan is for the Australian to begin the process of handing over the reins to his successor in 2020.

Lancaster, who was sacked by the RFU following the 2015 World Cup, has rebuilt his reputation with Leinster, playing an integral role in the province’s recent success as senior coach under Leo Cullen.

There has also been speculation linking Lancaster with a position on Andy Farrell’s Ireland coaching ticket, when the Englishman takes over from Joe Schmidt following next year’s World Cup in Japan.

When asked if Lancaster would be a candidate for a future coaching role with England, Melville told The Daily Telegraph: “I’m not sure, I haven’t spoken to Stuart so I’m not sure if it’s the path that he sees for himself.

“I’ll be meeting with everyone who is a potential target for us and I’ll make the list based on that.

“I don’t know what other people might be thinking but all our top English coaches will be contacted.”

Pressed further, Melville added that he would have no problem rehiring the man the RFU sacked three years ago.

“No, not a problem, why would it would be a problem?

“It will be a pretty good search. We have been monitoring everyone for the last 18 months.

“We have got a spreadsheet of everything and everyone, all around, different levels, assistant coaches, kicking coaches, and we have English coaches overseas as well. Quite a few in France. In Scotland. All sorts.

“And a lot of overseas coaches in the Premiership too. It is quite a broad thing.”

– First published 00.20, 5 December

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