RFU interim CEO Nigel Melville said he is planning to talk to Warren Gatland about succeeding Eddie Jones when the England head coach’s tenure comes to an end.
Jones, who has been England’s head coach since the end of 2015, signed a contract extension until 2021 earlier this year that will see him retain his position unless they flop at next year’s World Cup in Japan.
Melville, who stepped into his new role after the resignation of Steve Brown, revealed his plans to talk to several coaches including Gatland, who will leave his position as Wales‘ head coach after the 2019 World Cup.
“Warren’s a very good coach but I’m not sure what his plans are,” he told Sky Sports.
“I’ll speak to Warren and a number of others and then we’ll see.”
Melville said his preference was to identify a home-grown coach and confirmed he would not have a problem to interview former England boss Stuart Lancaster, who has been coaching at Leinster since 2016.
Lancaster was sacked by the RFU after England went out at the pool stage of the 2015 World Cup on home soil.
“Why would it be a problem?” said Melville of Lancaster’s possible appointment.
“I didn’t get rid of anyone. I’ll talk to anyone who has the requisite talent to do the job for us. I am English, this is England, and, of course, it would be great to have an English coach.
“I haven’t spoken to Stuart so [I’m] not sure if it’s the path that he sees for himself but we have been monitoring everyone for the past 18 months.
“We have got a spreadsheet of everything and everyone, different levels, assistant coaches, kicking coaches, all sorts.
“We have English coaches working overseas as well, quite a few of them in France [the likes of Joe Worsley, Alex King and, recently departed, Rory Teague].
“I’ll be meeting with everyone who is a potential target for us. All our top English coaches will be contacted. We have got to have the best coach for the job.”
Melville also said Jones would form part of the consultation process and they would “take Eddie’s feedback” as to who they include.