Northampton Saints' Jim Mallinder interested in England job

Jim Mallinder
Northampton boss Mallinder says the England job would be "a massive honour"

Jim Mallinder has confirmed his interest in replacing Martin Johnson as England manager.

But Northampton director of rugby Mallinder, 45, said there has been no contact from the Rugby Football Union.

Candidates Nick Mallett, Conor O'Shea and Graham Henry appear to have ruled themselves out but Eddie Jones is keen.

Mallinder told BBC Radio 5 live: "I said a few weeks ago everybody strives to be the best they can and coaching the national side is a massive honour."

He guided Northampton from the Championship to last season's Heineken Cup final in just three years.

Saints were beaten 28-23 by Scarlets in the Heineken Cup on Friday, but Mallinder said speculation linking him to the vacant job was not to blame for his side's defeat.

"It was no distraction for me and I don't think it was for the players, we just came out and played badly," he added.

"At this moment my mind is on Northampton Saints. No one [from the Rugby Football Union] has come and said anything to me so I'm concentrating on doing the best job I can here."

Henry, who stood down as , had been linked with a role at Twickenham, either in a short-term capacity or in a permanent role, but has distanced himself from the position of England manager.

The 65-year-old is still contracted to the New Zealand Rugby Union until 31 March and admitted he would be interested in working in Europe.

"I want an involvement in the game, mainly an advisory capacity," he told WalesOnlineexternal-link.

"I'd like to spend some time in Europe but I want to live in New Zealand. Our kids are there and we have five grandchildren. I think it is important we are there."

The former Wales boss, who is in Britain to coach the Barbarians against Australia at Twickenham on 26 November, added: "I can see myself being in this part of the world for perhaps 10 weeks a year.

"I'd like to be able to contribute and enjoy that contribution. Hopefully it may be beneficial to a club in this part of the world."

Mallett, the former South Africa and Italy coach, announced just hours after Johnson's resignation that he , while another ex-Springboks coach Jake White is also out of the running.

Sir Clive Woodward, who led England to the World Cup title in 2003, and former Saracens director of rugby Brendan Venter have since confirmed they are not interested.

Harlequins director of rugby O'Shea told BBC Radio 5 live he was not in the running, saying: "My job is at Quins, full stop. No, I would not apply. No, the RFU have not been in touch."

However Jones, Australia coach when they were beaten by Woodward's England in the World Cup final, has confirmed he would be keen on the roleexternal-link, saying: "You'd always be interested in coaching England."

Johnson on Wednesday after three-and-a-half years in the role following a miserable World Cup in New Zealand, which ended in a quarter-final defeat by France.

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