Pressure on England as France and Wallabies also chase Gatland as coach

Pressure on England as France and Wallabies also chase Gatland as coach

There is concern in the England press that England are dragging their feet and their first choice to take over from Eddie Jones after the World Cup has not been approached by the RFU yet.

Wales' triple Grand Slam-winning coach Warren Gatland is in demand not only in England, but also in France and Australia which puts pressure on England to act swiftly. His term as Wales coach comes to an end after the World Cup.

According to Wales Online the interim chief executive of the RFU, Nigel Melville, has not made progress. He is said to be leading the appointment process with direction from the board.

Nothing has, as far as is known, come from his stated undertaking in December that he would speak to Gatland and appoint a panel of experts at the beginning of this year to drive the process.

Meanwhile Gatland is reportedly on a three-man shortlist alongside 2003 World Cup-winning coach Sir Clive Woodward and former Lions and Bulls coach John Mitchell to take over as France head coach after the World Cup, according to The Times.

♦ Reports surfaced this week that the French Rugby Federation president Bernard Laporte has already had contact with Gatland.

According to Midi Olympique he will make approaches to Gatland in the coming weeks to take over from present coach Jacques Brunel, who has not had much success at national level.

That is dependent on whether Laporte gets approval from his federation that France appoint their first foreign coach.

♦ Gatland is also high on the list of contenders to take over from the Wallaby coach Michael Cheika who has been granted a stay of execution until after the World Cup despite his less than satisfactory record with the Wallabies.