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Kirwan: I will spark England

JOHN KIRWAN is keen to guide England through next year's Six Nations as speculation mounts that the appointment of a new full-time head coach will be delayed until after the championship.

Kirwan is interested in succeeding Martin Johnson on an interim basis while the Rugby Football Union assemble a coaching team to lead England to the 2015 World Cup.

Reports have linked Graham Rowntree, Stuart Lancaster and Brian Ashton with the position.

Kirwan, former coach of Italy and Japan, said: "I understand the situation the RFU is in at the moment, but I'm a little bit different to the other coaches.

"Others like Nick (Mallett) and Wayne (Smith) are saying no because of the structure above, but I'm at a different stage of my career.

"I'm a young coach, I enjoy risk. Someone needs to get in there and sort the team out. And then if there is a role because we have done well..."

Tindall slams RFU handling

England centre Mike Tindall has criticised the Rugby Football Union for turning his disciplinary case into a political points-scoring exercise.

Tindall was reinstated in England's elite player squad and had a £25,000 fine reduced to £15,000 following an appeal against the sanction for his off-field behaviour at the World Cup.

The Gloucester centre said he felt his case had been made "unnecessarily political and public by the RFU" and that he had been used as a "scapegoat".

Meanwhile, Martyn Thomas stood down as the RFU's acting chief executive yesterday over a fortnight earlier than scheduled.

Twickenham executives remain centre stage today, as a board meeting was set to be held to debate recommendations from the reviews into England's failed World Cup campaign.