Rob Baxter rules himself out of England race

Date published: December 6 2018

Exeter Chiefs director of rugby Rob Baxter has ruled himself out of the running to become England head coach when Eddie Jones leaves the job.

Baxter, speaking on the Will Greenwood podcast on Sky Sports, admits he’s happy at the Chiefs and feels that tips the balance on any decision.

RFU interim chief Nigel Melville has revealed they will talk to several head coaches ahead of replacing Jones, whose contract expires in 2021. But it seems clear that Baxter is not interested in the role as he looks to continue his good work for the Premiership side at Sandy Park.

“I would say it would be unlikely if I’m honest with you,” Baxter said. “I don’t want to do it yet.

“Obviously it’s an accolade and it’s coaching at a high level. What would really excite me is working with a different group of players, some of the best players in the country which means that they’re some of the best players in the world.

“Some of the players who are involved with England I’m a huge respecter of, and it would be fantastic to work with some of those guys. It would be fantastic to see what you could achieve against some of the best teams in the world.

“So there’s loads of attractive reasons for it, but the attractive reasons have got to outweigh what you want in your life at any given time, and at the moment what I have in my life here in Exeter is more important to me.”

Baxter added: “I’ve got unfinished business with [Exeter]. I like being the director of rugby at Exeter, I work with people I like. It’s an enjoyable situation; I work with players I like and I want to see the fruition of where the club can go to.

“My family are very comfortable living here and they enjoy the situation that we’re in at the moment.

“Rugby’s very important to me – and I coach the players like this – but rugby should be an extension of yourself as a person and the life you live and how we all want to be, and that’s what I’ve got at Exeter at the moment and that fulfils me very highly at the moment.”