All Blacks coaching candidate Vern Cotter is a name understood to have been floated for the England job.

Britain's Telegraph newspaper claims a headhunting firm hired by England's RFU to get a new team boss named Cotter in a progress report.

49-year-old Cotter coached Clermont to the French top 14 title in 2010.

He assisted Robbie Deans at the Crusaders in 2005 and 2006 and coached Bay of Plenty for a number of years.

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The search for a permanent successor to Martin Johnson also has former South Africa and Italy coach Nick Mallett in the mix.