Mallett tells RFU he might be free after Six Nations

FORMER Italy coach Nick Mallett has performed a U-turn by expressing an interest in the vacant England manager’s job, less than a fortnight after ruling himself out of the running.

The 55-year-old claimed earlier this month that, with his family settled in his native South Africa, he would not be putting his name forward to replace Martin Johnson.

But speaking yesterday, Mallett suggested were the Rugby Football Union prepared to wait until March, when the Six Nations is complete, he might be in a position to answer their call.

“The ball is in the Rugby Football Union’s court,” he said. “I am now [out of the running] but wouldn’t rule myself out in future. The England job would entail taking the post in time for the Six Nations, which would mean the new man would have to be in place by 1 December to get to know the players.

“But who knows, there might be a situation in the future where the timing is better. My family comes first and there are issues within the RFU that need to be resolved.”

Timing and family issues aside, Mallet also revealed he would be unwilling to take the job were he forced to answer to a director of rugby.

He said: “A head coach should report to the board, not a director of rugby. You wouldn’t find Graham Henry answering to a director of rugby. The responsibility of the team is with the head coach and that’s how I would see the job.”