Saints coach King was never in line for England job

Alex King was not in line for the England job

Northampton Saints backs coach Alex King says that the reports that he had been approached by new England coach Eddie Jones were “unfounded”.

Eddie Jones has appointed a new panel of coaches but it was thought that he was still looking for a skills and attack coach and 40-year-old King was the closest linked to the job.

Paul Gustard has been appointed as defence coach and Steve Borthwick as forwards coach. Scrum coach Ian Peel has also been appointed but not on a permanent basis as he will also work with Saracens.

It is now thought that Jones has decided against appointing another coach for the role of skills and attack and that he will look after this himself.

“I think Eddie has probably met all the coaches and directors of rugby in England to understand the English game,” King told BBC Radio Northampton.

“Just because you have a conversation with Eddie Jones doesn’t mean there’s more to it.”

Northampton Saints boss Jim Mallinder said last month that they had been “kept in the dark” with regards to Jones approaching King who he insisted “was always staying at Saints”.

King says that he was never in line for the England role in Jones’ backroom staff.

“Not at all,” he said. “I think Eddie wants clarity on what he wants to bring and I think that’s probably one of the reasons why he doesn’t want another coach.”

“He’s going to run the attack and along with Paul Gustard, Steve Borthwick and Ian Peel, four coaches is enough at this stage. There is nothing more to it than that.”

He added: “It’s been a frustrating couple of weeks because of what’s been written and I’m glad it’s come out that Eddie will be running the attack with other coaches and I’m looking forward to seeing how England play and the squad that he picks.”

In 2007 Jones was appointed as Springbok assistant coach and in a relatively short time managed to give the backline an edge that helped them win the world cup.

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