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Jones and Smith out of running for England post

Published 13/11/2015

Japan head coach Eddie Jones has distanced himself from the England job
Japan head coach Eddie Jones has distanced himself from the England job

Eddie Jones and Wayne Smith - two potential leading candidates to succeed Stuart Lancaster as England head coach - have distanced themselves from the role.

While South African Jake White, who masterminded the Springboks' 2007 World Cup triumph, remains a clear bookmakers' favourite, Australian Jones and New Zealander Smith have also been strongly backed.

Jones took Australia to the 2003 Rugby World Cup final, when they were beaten by England after extra-time, and he inspired a memorable 2015 World Cup campaign for Japan that included toppling South Africa in scintillating fashion.

Jones, 55, was unveiled as head coach of Cape Town-based Super Rugby franchise the Stormers on Thursday and said: "Never believe what you read in the papers, mate.

"I am wholly committed to the Stormers."

Smith, meanwhile, plans to take a break from rugby after being part of the New Zealand coaching staff that oversaw World Cup final glory at Twickenham just 12 days ago.

"I am being clear with everyone that I'm not coaching full-time in 2016," Smith, 58, explained.

"I've had 29 years in the game as a coach, and it's time for a break.

"I will see what 2017 and beyond brings."

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