World Cup-winning coach Jake White is considering his options after an approach from the Rugby Football Union (RFU) about the vacant England job, his Australian club said on Thursday.
White, coach of the South Africa team who won the 2007 World Cup, is now in charge of Super Rugby franchise ACT Brumbies.
England are looking for a permanent successor to Martin Johnson, who resigned in November after a troubled World Cup campaign. They are currently being overseen by caretaker coach Stuart Lancaster.
Further to recent media speculation, Brumbies head coach Jake White today advised Brumbies Rugby chief executive Andrew Fagan that he has been sounded out by the RFU as a candidate for its vacant coaching role and has declared interest in exploring his options, a Brumbies statement said.
Despite speculation that Jake has already been interviewed and offered the position, he has assured Brumbies Rugby that is not the case.
Jake has also provided assurances that regardless of the eventual decision made by the RFU, he will remain in Canberra with the Brumbies for the rest of the 2012 Super Rugby season.
White took over at the Brumbies last July on a four-year contract and chief executive Fagan said there were many details that would need to be worked through if the 48-year-old South African were to leave so early into his deal.
Obviously this is a terrific opportunity for Jake White, and one which reflects his status as one of the world's leading coaches, Fagan added in the statement. It also speaks volumes about the quality of the Rugby programme that Jake is putting in place here at the Brumbies that he should be sounded out for this role.
New RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie said last week there was a strong shortlist for the England job, which has been reported to include former South Africa and Italy coach Nick Mallett and Lancaster.
Ritchie has said he hoped to have the new man in place ahead of England's June tour of South Africa but that he would be prepared to wait until as late as October if that were necessary to secure the right man.
(Reporting by Sonia Oxley; Editing by John Mehaffey)