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Monday, November 28, 2011

White: I miss international rugby

World Cup-winning coach Jake White has hinted that he would welcome an approach to become the next England coach after voicing his desire to return to Test rugby.

The Rugby Football Union are searching for a successor to Martin Johnson, who stepped down 11 days ago in response to a dismal campaign in New Zealand. White is one of the leading candidates to replace Johnson and the 48-year-old, who guided South Africa to rugby's greatest prize in 2007, has left little doubt over his interest in the position.

"You miss the highest level of competition," White told BBC Radio 5 live's Sportsweek programme. "During the World Cup there were times when I thought it would be wonderful to be back on this stage."

He added: "I'm sure that if an opportunity came about, it's something I'd like to do again. I don't know how I'd react if I was called [by the RFU], one never knows until you are in that situation.

"All coaches want to test themselves against the best and when you've won one World Cup, you'd like to win a second. It would be a fantastic achievement to become the first coach to win two World Cups.

"I'm young enough and there's a long time ahead in my career. I'd love to get another chance of testing myself at the World Cup. To win it twice would be a real dream come true."

White would be happy to work alongside Sir Clive Woodward, the mastermind of England's 2003 World Cup triumph who has been linked with a return to Twickenham in a director of elite rugby role.

"I've chatted to Clive about coaching together," he said.

"He's a very proud man who's been through the highs and lows with England and took them to the World Cup.

"I say this not because Clive is my friend, but it's amazing how a guy like him hasn't stayed in rugby when he's achieved the ultimate in winning the World Cup with England."

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