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Farrell to stick with Saracens

Saracens head coach Andy Farrell has turned down the offer of a permanent coaching role with England.

The Rugby Football Union had been in negotiations with Saracens after England coach Stuart Lancaster indicated he wanted Farrell as part of his management team.

Farrell had been seconded to England on an interim basis for the RBS 6 Nations and was a key part in transforming the fortunes of the national team. But England have failed in their bid to lure him away from the Aviva Premiership champions, where he remains under contract for the next two years.

"It has been a special privilege for me to be involved in the Saracens coaching staff for the past two-and-half seasons," Farrell said.

"We have made decent progress during this period but, in truth, as a club, we have barely scratched the surface of our potential.

"The job isn't anywhere near half done, and I have decided I want to help finish the job."

Graham Rowntree will continue as England's forwards coach but Farrell's decision to remain with Saracens is a serious blow to Lancaster's plans.

Lancaster had wanted to keep both Rowntree and Farrell on board as the core of his coaching team and he would have then considered recruiting additional expertise.

The new England coach must now decide how to replace Farrell for the three-Test summer tour of South Africa.

New Zealand's attack specialist Wayne Smith is interested in returning to Test rugby having helped the All Blacks win the World Cup, and he has been linked with an England role. However, Smith is currently unavailable until after the summer tour.


From Belfast Telegraph