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LONDON: Former ACT Brumbies coach and Wallabies candidate Jake White has declared his interest in “the biggest job in world rugby” as the sharks circle for Stuart Lancaster’s England job.
White is the latest to publicly confirm he would be interested in speaking with RFU officials if they decided to sack Lancaster following a disastrous home World Cup.
The Wallabies delivered a killer blow to England’s campaign with a 33-13 win against the hosts at Twickenham last weekend.
The loss saw Lancaster’s men tumble out of the World Cup, becoming the first host nation in the tournament’s history to be out of contention before the quarter finals.
NRL convert Sam Burgess has been dropped for the last pool match against Uruguay and England has slumped to its lowest ever world ranking of eighth.
South Africa’s 2007 World Cup-winning mentor White has joined Eddie Jones in saying they would be open to being approached to replace Lancaster.
White, who is now coach of French club Montpellier, was a contender for the England job three years ago when he went head to head with Lancaster.
White almost walked away from his four-year deal with the Brumbies after just two games to pursue an opportunity in England.
He was also one of two people interviewed by the ARU as a potential replacement for Robbie Deans, but powerbrokers decided to go with Ewen McKenzie in 2013.
White’s name was also thrown up as a candidate when McKenzie quite 12 months ago, but Michael Cheika won the battle.
“England have everything going for them in terms of resources, players and history,” White told UK media.
“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.
“When I was with the Boks, I was approached to put my name in for Rob Andrew’s job. Then they contacted me before appointing Martin Johnson and Stuart Lancaster.
“All three times they’ve gone for English people. Generally it’s used as a means to make the other candidates look like they have a bit of credence.”
If Lancaster is sacked and White puts his name in for contention, it leaves several former Brumbies in an interesting position.
Former Wallabies and Brumbies captain Ben Mowen, halfback Nic White and fullback Jesse Mogg all play for Montpellier.
White was influential in luring White and Mogg to France this year.
Lancaster’s fate will be decided when the RFU review their horror World Cup campaign.
There have been accusations of power struggles in the coaching staff and a player divide following perceived preferential treatment to former South Sydney star Burgess.
“Since 2003, England have been going backwards. They made the final in 2007 [against South Africa] but it was a shambles,” White said.
“For a big rugby nation like England to be eighth in the world isn’t right.
“International rugby shouldn’t be a learning curve for coaches. It’s a business now. The last three World Cups must send a message; if you go for a coach who’s never coached international rugby, it’s going to be the same old, same old.”
Meanwhile, Wallabies great David Campese took a swipe at the World Rugby citing process that has led to n vice-captain Michael Hooper being suspended for one week.
Hooper fronted a two-hour hearing on Tuesday and pleaded guilty to not using his arms in an attempted cleanout of England fullback Mike Brown.
But Campese said the citing process was wrong after Hooper was sent to the judiciary while Burgess escaped with a yellow card warning for his high tackle on the Wallabies’ No. 7.
“Sorry, but Hooper cited and Burgess gets off,” Campese tweeted. “The game is lost & the people looking after it has no idea what the game is about.”