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McCall is seen as an 'outsider' to replace Lancaster

By Jonathan Bradley

Ulsterman Mark McCall is seen as an outside contender to take over the England hot-seat vacated by Stuart Lancaster.

The former Bangor, Ulster and Ireland centre has done a fantastic job since being handed the reins at Saracens, leading the Londoners to two Premiership titles and a Champions Cup final but is still thought to be some way down the list of potential successors.

It is thought that Ireland's Joe Schmidt, having publicly distanced himself from the job last month despite the eye-watering salary on offer, remains highly unlikely to leave his back-to-back Six Nations winners.

Should England look domestically, Northampton's Jim Mallinder and Bath's former Ireland assistant Mike Ford are seen as the most viable options while former World Cup winner Jake White and Eddie Jones, the mastermind behind Japan's historic performances at the World Cup, are reportedly in the frame should the RFU opt for a foreign coach.

Meanwhile, it is seen as unlikely that Ulster will be adding World Cup winner Victor Vito to their ranks next year.

Having already secured the services of Charles Piutau, reports circulated that the back-rower could be next on the Kingspan outfit's hitlist but prospects seem remote.

Speaking yesterday of rumoured new signings, director of rugby Les Kiss said: "There's always a lot of speculation.

"I'm not going to say whether it's right or wrong regardless but the bottom line is that the group we have now is what's important to me."

Belfast Telegraph


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