Brumbies coach Jake White has confirmed he has been approached to take charge of England, but has promised to remain in his current post for the rest of the 2012 Super 15 season.
White is just eight months into a four-year deal at the Brumbies but is thought to be among the front-runners to be Martin Johnson's permanent successor as England boss. It is understood White is excited by the challenge of trying to win another World Cup as a coach after leading South Africa to the 2007 title.
A statement read: "Further to recent media speculation, Brumbies head coach Jake White [has] advised Brumbies Rugby chief executive Andrew Fagan that he has been sounded out by the RFU [England] as a candidate for its vacant coaching role and has declared interest in exploring his options."
It continued: "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."
Fagan is disappointed with the disruption the speculation has caused, especially so early into White's tenure in the national capital.
"Obviously this is a terrific opportunity for Jake White, and one which reflects his status as one of the world's leading coaches," Fagan said.
"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.
"That said, Jake is in the first of a four-year contract with the Brumbies, and there are many details that would need to be worked through should he be successful with his application."