All Black great John Kirwan has backed Nick Mallett to be England's next full-time head coach after being told by the Rugby Football Union's head-hunters he is not experienced enough to be considered.
Kirwan has coached at three World Cups with Italy and Japan but conceded his appointment would have been a risk.
That Kirwan is considered inexperienced suggests interim coach Stuart Lancaster will not remain in the role.
Kirwan says they're looking for someone with a higher international profile, which he understands, so he believes Mallett would be ideal for the job.
Kirwan says he was told there were two candidates who met the RFU's criteria, likely to be former South Africa and Italy coach Mallett and ex-Ireland boss Eddie O'Sullivan.