Eddie O’Sullivan has thrown his hat into the ring to succeed Martin Johnson as England coach. The former Irish coach is fresh from an impressive World Cup campaign which saw his United States team beat Russia and run Ireland close.
His past international experience marks him out as a real contender, having guided Ireland to three triple crowns in a six year spell with his home nation. He has also been involved with a Lions tour and so has a deep knowledge of the International game in the Northern Hemisphere.
His knowledge, experience and success in the International game within the region gives his chances a real boost and make a case for him that cannot be made for the other two main contenders Eddie Jones and Jim Mallinder, neither of whom can boast the international record of O’Sullivan.
O’Sullivan’s agent, John Baker did not fail to mention his client’s experience when declaring his interest this week. “Eddie’s big advantage is that he has a tremendous experience of the Six Nations and a fantastic track record in that competition,” he said having declared that O’Sullivan would be interested in “one of the most high-profile positions in world Rugby” and working with “a side with tremendous potential”. The RFU are set to announce Stuart Lancaster, coach of the Saxons side, as the caretaker boss for this spring’s Six Nations with the next permanent boss set to take charge after that.
O’Sullivan has declared himself interested in the post in both a short and long term capacity, so could rival Lancaster for the role as caretaker as well as being considered for the job in a permanent capacity. The RFU’s preferred target is still thought to be Nick Mallett. The former Italian head coach declared he was not interested in the job as he is looking to take a break from Rugby until next June. If Mallett could be convinced to take over the England post then, or in the Autumn, as it is believed the RFU could try to persuade him, O’Sullivan could be seen as a stop gap until then.
O’Sullivan targeting the role could prove to add a new dimension to the search for the next head coach of the England game. He can certainly be added to the list of names and provide another angle the RFU may wish try for the England role.