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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

2003 RWC winner Martin Johnson resigns as England rugby coach

Martin Johnson has resigned as coach of England. The former World Cup winning captain had little success in New Zealand this year, with his players not only under performing, but also embarrassing themselves off the field. Who will be his successor?

There's a few names being thrown into the pot but opinions vary quite substantially. Obviously some names seem obvious candidates, but who should coach England and who can coach England might be two very different things, as availability and willingness need to be factored in.

You'd think the RFU would want to look at homegrown talent first, but finding a foreign coach is a strong possibility. According to bookies Paddy Power, Northampton Saints coach Jim Mallinder is favourite, at 7/4.

"Mallinder’s recent successes with Northampton see him widely touted for the top job, and he also boasts some England pedigree with a coaching stint with the Saxons and Under 21s to his name.

"World Cup winner Graham Henry is second favourite at 4/1 just ahead of Nick Mallet, who has expressed an interest in the job, at 6/1. Ex-Ireland full back Conor O’Shea is considered a bit of a dark horse at 12/1. O’Shea is an ex Director of Regional Academies with the RFU and is now Director of Rugby at Harlequins," Paddy Power said in a statement earlier today.

The full list of coaches tipped to be in line for the postition is as follows:

7/4 Jim Mallinder, 4/1 Graham Henry, 6/1 Nick Mallet, 8/1 John Kirwin, 12/1 Conor O’Shea, 20/1 Eddie Jones, 20/1 Dean Richards, 20/1 Richard Baxter, 20/1 Clive Woodward, 20/1 Wayne Smith, 25/1 Toby Booth, 25/1 Ewan MacKenzie, 25/1 Brendan Venter, 33/1 Jake White, 33/1 Ian McGeechan, 33/1 Todd Blackadder, 33/1 Neil Back, 33/1 Steve Hansen, 50/1 Dean Ryan, 100/1 Eddie O’Sullivan

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