Eddie Jones? Jake White? Who will be the next England coach?

By Jack SkeltonBBC Sport
Who will replace Stuart Lancaster?

Stuart Lancaster's reign as England head coach is over.

The 46-year-old left his post on Wednesday following the host nation's early exit from the World Cup.

Rugby Football Union chief executive Ian Ritchie said Lancaster's successor should be someone of "proven international experience", but has not excluded English coaches.

BBC Sport looks at the candidates - and the challenges faced by his successor.

Leading candidates

Eddie Jones

Eddie Jones

Age: 55

Nationality: Australian

Current position: Head coach of South African Super Rugby side Stormers, whom he joined after coaching Japan at the World Cup.

Credentials: Guided Japan to a stunning victory over South Africa in their opening 2015 World Cup match. Led Australia to the 2001 Tri-Nations title but was beaten by England in the 2003 World Cup final. Played an advisory role in South Africa's 2007 World Cup triumph.

What he said: Writing in the Daily Mail on 4 October, he said:external-link "If England approached me, would I listen to them? It's not the sort of job I'll go out chasing, but I'd certainly chat to them if they thought I was the right man for the role."

Odds: 5-1

Jake White

Jake White

Age: 52

Nationality: South African

Current position: Coach of French Top 14 side Montpellier

Credentials: A low-profile appointment as South Africa coach in 2004, he led the Springboks to World Cup success three years later. Has since coached Super Rugby teams the Brumbies and the Sharks, and worked as an adviser to Tonga. Twice winner of the IRB Coach of the Year award.

What he said: "England have everything going for them in terms of resources, players and history. If they were genuinely interested and they approached me, of course I would be interested. It's one of the biggest jobs in world sport and you'd be crazy not to consider it," said White on 6 October.

Odds: 3-1

International coaches

Michael Cheika

Michael Cheika

Age: 48

Nationality: Australian

Current position: Head coach of Australia

Credentials: Described as a "calculated punt" when hired by Leinster in 2005, he led the Irish province to Heineken Cup success in 2009. Won the Super Rugby title with the Waratahs last year before taking charge of Australia. Turned them into Rugby Championship winners and World Cup runners-up within a year and was named World Rugby Coach of the Year.

What he said: When asked about his future on 9 November, Cheika said: "I'm [contracted] to 2017 and for me it's irrelevant whether I'm on to 2019 or 2017 or 2016, I want to do the best so the team is in the right position to keep getting better."

Odds: 5-1

Warren Gatland

Warren Gatland

Age: 52

Nationality: New Zealander

Current position: Head coach of Wales

Credentials: After a mixed spell with Ireland, Gatland won three consecutive Premiership titles and a Heineken Cup with Wasps. Joined Wales in 2007, and has won three Six Nations titles including the Grand Slam in 2008 and 2012. Led the British & Irish Lions to a first series win since 1997 with victory over Australia in 2013.

What he said: On 5 November, Gatland confirmed his intention to see Wales through to the 2019 World Cup, adding his plan was then "to come back home to New Zealand".

Odds: 12-1

Joe Schmidt

Joe Schmidt

Age: 50

Nationality: Born in New Zealand, became an Irish citizen this year

Current position: Head coach of Ireland

Credentials: Assistant coach at Blues and Clermont before stepping up with Leinster in 2010, and won two consecutive Heineken Cups with the Irish province. Left to take the Ireland job in 2013, leading his adopted country to two Six Nations titles in the past two years.

What he said: On 17 October, Schmidt said: "Externally I'd be a fan of Stuart Lancaster as a person and what he's trying to build there. Stuart is a first-class character. I certainly wouldn't be going after his job."

Odds: 12-1

Club coaches

Jim Mallinder

Jim Mallinder

Age: 49

Nationality: English

Current position: Director of rugby at Northampton Saints

Credentials: Capped twice by England before starting his coaching career at Sale Sharks. Left to take up a post at the RFU's National Academy and was later appointed England Saxons coach. Took over at Saints in 2007, leading them back to the top flight before winning the club's first Premiership title, in 2014.

What he said: Previously admitted he would like to coach at international level, but recently told the BBC "at this moment in time, Northampton Saints is my focus".

Odds: 9-2

Mike Ford

Mike Ford

Age: 49

Nationality: English

Current position: Head coach at Bath

Credentials: Former England rugby league player before crossing codes and becoming England defence coach in 2006. Helped the national side to finish runners-up in the 2007 World Cup but left after England's exit in 2011. Joined Bath in 2012, helping the club to last season's Premiership final.

What he said: Ford, who had been installed by bookmakers as favourite to succeed Lancaster, said on 9 October he would be "stupid" to leave Bath for a job that was "not right for me at this moment".

Odds: 5-1

Conor O'Shea

Conor O'Shea

Age: 45

Nationality: Irish

Current position: Director of rugby at Harlequins

Credentials: Capped 35 times by Ireland between 1993 and 2000 before becoming director of rugby at London Irish. Hired by the RFU to run the national academy and then became national director at the English Institute of Sport. Joined Harlequins in 2010, leading them to the Premiership title in 2012.

What he said: He has not spoken publicly about the post.

Odds: 7-1

Any other candidates?

Former South Africa coach Nick Mallett said last month he was approached about the job while Lancaster was still under contract but turned it down - a claim the RFU denied.

Exeter Chiefs head coach Rob Baxter has also ruled himself out after agreeing a new contract.

Dean Richards of Newcastle Falcons and Worcester Warriors chief Dean Ryan could also be contenders.

And Lewis Moody says fellow World Cup winner Josh Lewsey may be interested after he announced he will step down as Welsh Rugby Union's head of rugby in January.

All Blacks assistant coach Wayne Smith is also highly rated but appears to have ruled out taking a coaching job by announcing plans to take a sabbatical in 2016.

Chris Robshaw
Chris Robshaw has captained England on 42 occasions

Challenges for the new man

Squad disharmony

On Tuesday, full-back Mike Brown said he has lost all trust in his England team-mates after leaks from the dressing room, with suggestions some players questioned the ill-fated selection of Sam Burgess over Luther Burrell.

The new coach will have to rebuild England's confidence and enthusiasm quickly, with a rejuvenated Scotland first up on 6 February in the 2016 Six Nations.

Brown said: "It is going to be hard for me to call anyone team-mates until we meet up."

Overseas players

The RFU's policy is not to select foreign-based players unless in "exceptional circumstances".

But do the circumstances get more exceptional than Australian back-rowers David Pocock and Michael Hooper dominating their England counterparts, while Steffon Armitage cannot be selected?

Steffon Armitage
Toulon flanker Steffon Armitage was named European Player of the Year in 2014

Clermont full-back Nick Abendanon, Armitage's successor as European Player of the Year, also missed out, with both players saying they were hurt by the opinions of the England players who backed the RFU's policy.external-link

Australia tweaked their selection policy to bring in European-based stars Matt Giteau and Drew Mitchell - could a new coach explore this option for England?

Centre pairing

A perennial problem since the end of Will Greenwood and Mike Tindall's partnership in 2004, Lancaster failed to find a long-term solution.

The outgoing coach tried 14 different centre pairingsexternal-link, with only Brad Barritt and Manu Tuilagi starting more than 10 games together.

The good news for England's new coach is the talent is out there, with Jonathan Joseph's emergence on the international stage, Henry Slade breaking into the England set-up and Elliot Daly impressing for Wasps in the Premiership.

Luther Burrell and Kyle Eastmond could return, while Tuilagi's future remains unclear after his exclusion from the World Cup squad.

Lack of experience

World champions New Zealand came into the World Cup with an average of 48 caps per player, South Africa averaged 42, Australia 40 and England just 25.

Lancaster's aim for 2015 was to have a team containing 600 caps. He fell well short, and history suggests his replacement will need to build a team with that level of experience to challenge for the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

Lancaster also had no experience of leading a senior international side, which potential candidates such as Mike Ford and Jim Mallinder would also have to overcome.

Style of play

At times during Lancaster's reign, England struggled to introduce more attacking flair but always felt they could rely on a solid pack and set-piece.

Yet England were dominated in the scrum by Australia, while the decision to drop George Ford in favour of Owen Farrell at fly-half could not bring victory over Wales.

With both approaches faltering, Lancaster's successor will have to re-establish English rugby's identity.

Best odds correct at 18:00 GMT on 11 November.


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