Leicester Tigers head coach Richard Cockerill has ruled himself out of the running for the England job already, despite former Tigers player and current England head coach Martin Johnson yet to step down or be sacked from his role.
Johnson’s position came under question following a disastrous World Cup campaign which ended in defeat at the quarter final stage against France amidst a wave of controversy surrounding his players off the field antics.
Mike Tindall, Dylan Hartley, Chris Ashton and James Haskell were all in the headlines during the tournament while Jonny Wilkinson and two of Johnson’s backroom staff were given a slap on the risk for attempting to swap balls when the fly-half was lining up attempts at goal, something which is against the rules of the game.
While numerous investigations in to the World Cup debacle continue, Johnson himself has yet to confirm his intention to carry on in the role with his contract almost at an end, although he is a free bet favourite to at least put his hat into the ring, but his former team-mate Cockerill, who has overseen a poor start to the new Aviva Premiership season for the Tigers, insists he has no intentions of going for the job.
When asked by reporters if he would be going for the role he said: “Not interested at all, “I’m two from seven, anyway – I can’t even win a game for my club.”
“And I’m from Leicester. I don’t know if that gets me in or out. They haven’t asked, and I don’t expect them to, and I certainly wouldn’t apply. I’d say that rules me out.” He added.
Cockerill is the latest in a long line to distance himself from the job, with British and Irish Lions coach Sir Ian McGeechan, Conor O’Shea and Jim Mallinder all taking themselves out of the running, while there was at least some good news for the RFU as World Cup winning New Zealand coach Graham Henry hinted he would be interested in taking up a development role with England when he steps down from his current role, although free bets suggests he is still in contention for the job.