A window may yet open in the England coaching set-up that will see Wayne Smith join the newly appointed Stuart Lancaster.

Smith, the former All Black assistant and current Chiefs technical director, is keen to take an international role and almost certainly would have joined the England set-up in some capacity had Nick Mallett been awarded the head job.

But Mallett was rejected in favour of interim coach Lancaster who led England to a respectable four wins from five in the Six Nations. That was enough for Lancaster to be offered the role through to the World Cup and he wants to maintain his current coaching team of Graham Rowntree and Andy Farrell.

Doubts have been raised, however, about whether Farrell will be available, as he was released to the national set-up only on a temporary basis.


Farrell, the former rugby league star, is contracted to coach Saracens for another two years and the London club don't want to let him go.

"The RFU asked if they could loan Andy Farrell for the Six Nations, which we did in the national interest," said Saracens chief executive Edward Griffiths.

"They made it very clear that it was just for the Six Nations. He is contracted to us for another two years and he is a massive part of what we're planning here as a club, and that's really the situation.

"We will doubtless talk to the RFU shortly and hear what they have got to say but from a Saracens perspective Andy is a big part of our club and a big part of our future."

If Farrell isn't able to come to an agreement with his club, then Lancaster is going to be looking for a backs coach. Smith served in that role for eight years with the All Blacks and would be considered one of the best specialists in the world. The only issue is whether Lancaster would want to work with the Kiwi and whether Smith would be comfortable in that particular role.