Thursday 29 September 2016

Two Irishmen in running for England rugby job

Published 11/11/2015 | 13:40

Harlequins head coach John Kingston (right) and Director of Rugby Conor O'Shea
Harlequins head coach John Kingston (right) and Director of Rugby Conor O'Shea

Stuart Lancaster parted company with English rugby today and the name of Joe Schmidt has been mentioned as a possible replacement in some quarters.

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The Irish boss, however, dismissed speculation linking him with the England job last month when he said: “I don’t know where that’s come from at all. Externally, I’d be a fan of Stuart Lancaster, as a person and what he’s trying to build.

"I think if we’d lost last weekend, it could be someone else being propositioned for my job. Stuart is a first-class character, I enjoy chatting with him pre- and post-matches. I certainly won’t be going after his job."

But there are two Irishmen who will no doubt make the list of would-be candidates.

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The Telegraph have drawn up their hitlist and former Ireland coach Eddie O'Sullivan is on it as is Conor O'Shea.

While the English paper doesn't rate O'Sullivan's chances too highly, going for just a 3/10 chance, O'Shea is a more lofty 6/10.

Eddie O’Sullivan: The former Irish head coach was recently released from French club side Biarritz Olympique so is certainly available. However, his stock has fallen in recent years and it’s unlikely he will be considered as head coach. However, O’Sullivan was linked with the job back in 2011 and if all of Lancaster’s coaching team go there could be a backroom role and the timing would work.

Conor O’Shea: The former Irish international not only has a solid coaching CV, but has worked very closely with the RFU in the past. Director of rugby at the Harlequins since 2010, he spent the several years working as the RFU’s Director of Regional Academies before joining the English Institute of Sport as National Director. Can’t be dismissed as a potential member of the setup, even if not as head coach.

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