Ireland boss Joe Schmidt has moved to downplay rumours he could replace Stuart Lancaster as England’s head coach.
Reports in France claimed the Rugby Football Union (RFU) has installed Schmidt as its top target to replace embattled England boss Lancaster.
Ireland’s Kiwi boss rejected the rumours, though, claiming not to be chasing the top role with England.
Lancaster is under pressure after England were dumped out of the World Cup at the pool stages, but Schmidt rejected any links.
“I don’t know where that’s come from at all,” he said.
“Externally I’d be a fan of Stuart Lancaster as a person and what he’s trying to build there.
“If we’d lost last weekend it could be someone else being propositioned for my job.
“Stuart is a first-class character.
“I certainly wouldn’t be going after his job.”
p Australia stars David Pocock and Israel Folau have lost their fitness battles ahead of Sunday’s World Cup quarter-final against Scotland at Twickenham.
Pocock has been ruled out by a calf problem sustained in the 15-6 victory over Wales last weekend and is replaced by Ben McCalman at number eight.
Folau suffered an ankle complaint in the same Pool A game and makes away for Kurtley Beale at full-back.