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11th Nov 2015

World Cup winner sparks England coaching rumours after leaving current role

Kevin Beirne

The search for Stuart Lancaster’s successor has officially begun.

The rugby boss stepped down as the national team’s head coach on Wednesday after a disappointing World Cup campaign saw England eliminated after just three matches.

The early favourites for the job include Bath coach Mike Ford, Exeter’s Rob Baxter and former World Cup winner Jake White.

But it’s possible the RFU will go with someone with no previous head coaching experience for the third time in a row after Josh Lewsey stepped down from his role with the Welsh Rugby Union.

Although Lewsey will remain in the role for the rest of the year, he could still take over England as they have no international games in the next two months.

The RFU may be hesitant to go with yet another first-time coach after the failures of Martin Johnson and Stuart Lancaster, but Lewsey has impressed during his time in Wales and would have the respect of the players as a 2003 World Cup winner.

Still, it would represent a huge risk on the part of the usually conservative RFU and it may well be that Lewsey is joining the England coaching staff in a smaller capacity, or even not at all.