Steady Eddie wants far from steady England job
Given the reports of what the squad were up to in New Zealand, not many people would want the job as England rugby coach, but Eddie O’Sullivan does.
Whether it’s because they simply don’t want the hassle of dealing with such an immature and badly-behaved bunch or not, the list of contenders to replace Martin Johnson has worn dramatically thin of late, with Graham Henry, Nick Mallett and Conor O’Shea all ruling themselves out of the race in recent weeks.
Another prime candidate, Northampton’s Nick Mallinder, is doing his prospects a lot of harm thanks to the Saints’ terrible start to this season’s Heineken Cup campaign, so the prospect of O’Sullivan taking over doesn’t seem so far-fetched after all.
O’Sullivan, whose most recent post was in charge of the US Eagles, has plenty of experience at international level and according to his agent, John Baker, he is “definitely interested” in the job.
“Eddie is definitely interested in the England job,” said Baker.
“The England job is one of the most high-profile positions in world rugby and they are a side with tremendous potential.
“Eddie’s big advantage is that he has tremendous experience of the Six Nations and a fantastic track record in that competition.”
Considering the fall-out that is likely to materialise in the wake of the leaks about the behaviour in the squad in New Zealand, O’Sullivan would certainly have a job on his hands to make them into a successful outfit as they are, as he might say himself, “a different bag of hammers” than anything he’s encountered before.
Currently, he’s 30/1 in the betting to get the job with Mallinder the 1/2 favourite.
Maybe it’s a sign of Eddie’s standing in the game that three coaches who have ruled themselves out of the running (Henry, O’Shea and Mallett) and another, Dean Richards, whose last involvement in the game was the infamous ‘Bloodgate’ scandal, are ahead of him in the betting, but his candidacy shouldn’t be completely ruled out just yet.