Northampton boss Jim Mallinder declares interest in the England job
Northampton director of rugby Jim Mallinder has declared his interest in the England coaching job.
Current coach Martin Johnson's future is in doubt following a disappointing World Cup both on and off the field.
Mallinder, 45, said: "Every player should aspire to play for his country and I think that's the same for coaches too - aspire to be the best you can.
"If one day, I ever have that honour, it would be something that would be very difficult to turn down."
England lost to France in the quarter-final in New Zealand and the players were criticised for their behaviour away from the pitch .
JIM MALLINDER FACTFILE
- Playing career: Old Crossleyans 1984-1987, Roundhay 1987-1989, Sale Sharks 1989-2001
- Coaching career: Sale Sharks 2001-2004, England Academy 2004-2007, England Saxons 2006-2007, Northampton Saints 2007-present
Johnson's contract expires next month and it is still uncertain if he wants to continue in the job or if the Rugby Football Union want him to remain in charge.
His fate is the subject of two reviews, one headed by Rob Andrew, the RFU's professional rugby director and Johnson's line manager, the other by former RFU vice-chairman Fran Cotton.
He played twice for England in 1997 and coached England Saxons between 2006 and 2007, winning 15 of his 16 matches in charge, including a victory over the New Zealand Maori in the final of the Churchill Cup .