Mallett wants to stay on as Italy coach

South African coach Nick Mallett insisted on Thursday that he wants to stay in charge of the Italian side after the World Cup despite expectation that Frenchman Jacques Brunel will take over.

Mallett is understood to have the backing of many of his players in his desire to extend his four-year contract.

“I want to continue with Italy,” said Mallett, who took charge after the 2007 World Cup.

“I have done a lot of work and it’s a great honour to coach Italy. There are many possibilities to progress, but it’s the right of the federation to change things after four years, if they want.

“If we have a bad Six Nations, if I don’t achieve good results, it’s normal that the federation will want to look elsewhere.”

Perpignan boss Brunel has been linked with the post, but the Italian Rugby Federation (FIR) said that he was just one name being considered.

“Jacques Brunel is a good coach and we have sounded him out as we have other coaches,” said FIR president Giancarlo Dondi.

“We haven’t talked yet to Nick Mallett. We will talk after the Six Nations.”

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