Best: It seemed as if I was stabbing Schmidt in back, I do feel guilty

Former Ireland captain Rory Best with his former head coach Joe Schmidt. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Mick ClearyTelegraph Media Group Limited

Rory Best believes that it would be "madness not to consider Joe Schmidt" as a possible candidate to replace Eddie Jones as England head coach were the Australian's contract not to be extended beyond 2021.

The former Ireland captain insists that Schmidt is the best coach he has ever worked with, even if remarks he made following the unsuccessful World Cup campaign appeared to lay the blame for Ireland's failure at the door of the New Zealander, a situation that Best regrets.

"It seemed as if I was stabbing him in the back and I do feel guilty about it, I do feel that I let him down," said Best, who suggested post-World Cup that the head coach ought to have taken a step back on the eve of matches to allow players to take more initiative.

"It was all 'Best Blasts Schmidt,' and that was wrong. It was wholly unfair. I did get down and depressed about it, got abuse, too. I rang Joe, as well as 'Faz' (Andy Farrell) and Johnny (Sexton), to apologise. I wouldn't have got as far as I did for as long as I did if it weren't for Joe, who turned Ireland from underachievers into one of the best in the world.

"Of course the World Cup in Japan was disappointing. But Joe is a winner and wants to make a difference. If England were to feel that was right for them, then it would be madness not to consider him." (© Daily Telegraph, London)