The popular Northampton director of rugby has worked wonders with the Saints, masterminding their transformation from a second tier side to one of Europe’s finest and most exciting outfits. His biggest drawback may be he lacks the Test experience of some of the more heavyweight candidates.
New Zealand’s recent World Cup winning coach had warned the RFU about the consequences of a knee-jerk dismissal of Martin Johnson, but the 65-year-old may now become the main beneficiary of Johnno’s resignation. A well-respected, no-nonsense coach who has previously managed Wales and the British and Irish Lions.
SIR CLIVE WOODWARD
Has led England to World Cup success once before and dropped hints he might be tempted to try it again, but could seek greater control than a team manager role might allow. Also busy with position as elite performance director at the British Olympic Association and may not want to quit before London 2012.