England Rugby eyeing Warren Gatland as Eddie Jones' successor - 'He knows the English game inside out'

Source: 1News

England Rugby are already making moves to find Eddie Jones' successor as Wales head coach and Kiwi coach Warren Gatland is near the top of their list.

Wales coach Warren Gatland congratulates Sam Warburton after the Ireland versus Wales quarter-final match of the 2011 Rugby World Cup at Wellington Regional Stadium, Wellington, New Zealand on Saturday, 8 October 2011. Photo: Dave Lintott / photosport.co.nz

The Rugby Football Union RFU's Nigel Melville, who will take over as interim chief executive on Christmas Eve, told The Times they are hoping to nab the 55-year-old.

"I once employed him. I brought him to Wasps," Melville, who will lead the recruitment process, said.

"Warren's a very good coach. I'll speak to Warren and a number of others."

Gatland will step down from coaching Wales at the end of next year's World Cup in Japan after nearly 12 years in charge. He's also coached two British and Irish Lions tours, including a drawn series with the All Blacks last year.

Jones is contracted until the end of 2021 but there is a clause in his contract pending on England's performance next year.

Hemi Taylor, the first NZ-born player to don the Welsh jersey, told Wales Online Gatland would be a perfect fit for England.

"We don't know what's going to happen with Eddie Jones after the World Cup but I'd like to see Gatland in the England job," Taylor said.

"He knows the English game inside out after guiding Wasps to European and domestic titles, and the player-profile is perfect for him.

"English rugby has vast playing numbers and produces big men, which suits the physical, war of attrition template successfully employed by Gatland, whether it's been with Ireland, Wasps, Waikato, Wales or the Lions.

"He could have great fun in England with the resources they have at their disposal."