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Dublin: 9°C Tuesday 15 June 2021

Eddie's chariot: O'Sullivan shortlisted for England job - report

John Kirwan has been told he’s not experienced enough to be England head coach. Two candidates are and one of them is our very own Eddie O’Sullivan.

Image: Dave Lintott /

FORMER ITALY COACH, John Kirwan, claims he was told by those leading the hunt for a new England coach that he was not experienced enough for the job.

Kirwan has taken charge of a team at three World Cups, the latest being last year’s stint with Japan.

But the Telegraph reports that the absence of a leading nation from his CV has counted him out.

The former All Black wing revealed that head hunters, Odgers Berndtson, informed him that his application was unsuccessful:

“They contacted me saying I wouldn’t go on to the next stage because they had a couple of other candidates that had more international experience than me,”

“They were looking for someone with a higher international profile. I understand that. They started out with something in mind and they are heading down that track.”

Those other candidates are thought to be Nick Mallet and Eddie O’Sullivan.

Both the former Springbok, and Ireland, coaches are currently without a job. O’Sullivan has also coached at three World Cup’s (twice with ireland) most recently with the USA.

Mallet coached Italy until their exit from the World Cup in New Zealand and his last role with the Springboks ended in 2000. So O’Sullivan may hold an advantage, but Kirwan’s backing would suggest that the city firm are preferring the South African.

“It will be a high-pressure situation (coaching England) into a home World Cup (in 2015). I think Nick would be a great candidate for the job.”

Interview process

Ian Ritchie, the RFU’s newly appointed chief executive, will take advice from Conor O’Shea (amongst others) during the selection process.

With Kirwan out of the running, it is thought that only three men are in contention: Mallet, O’Sullivan and the current interim coach, Stuart Lancaster.

All three will be interviewed for the position before 17 March, the final day of the Six Nations.

O’Sullivan has also been linked with the head coach role at Munster, which will be vacated by Tony McGahan at the end of the season.

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About the author:

Sean Farrell

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