Mallett won’t return to coaching in South Africa

Italy coach Nick Mallett says that he is confident that he will be able to find a job in Rugby after the World cup and won’t return to South Africa.


Italy are heading Down Under for the South African’s swansong with the European side, feeling that he has been a success in the job.


Many were suprised that Italy decided to let him go despite securing a first ever Six Nations victory over France earlier this year.


But there is no bitterness from English-born Mallett.


“I look at it rather as the end of a great four years. I didn’t enjoy the first two years, it was very, very tough,” he admitted.


“I didn’t speak the language and I still don’t speak it perfectly but at least I can make myself understood.


“The players didn’t really know me as a person, I had to inherit a staff that wasn’t mine and I hadn’t managed to create the atmosphere and the team that I wanted.


“It took two years to do that but these last two years have been probably the most enjoyable coaching that I’ve ever done.


“We’ve only played one team, Japan, below us in the rankings.


“So to always be the underdogs and to take the position where we were able to beat France for me that’s equal to winning the Tri-Nations when I was Springbok coach or winning two French championships when I was the (Stade Francais) coach.


“The last two years have been absolutely fantastic and that’s why I would have liked to stay on because I believe this team’s got another two years at least of really good results to go.


“Having learnt Italian and got their trust and belief in what I wanted to do, I think I could really have offered them another two good years but the decision was taken and I don’t have any regrets.”


Mallett said he will take some time off after the World Cup despite already receiving several coaching offers.


However, he’s ruled out coaching in his homeland.


“I’ll have an opportunity, I’ve already had plenty of offers and I’ll have an opportunity in June next year if I want to get back into coaching,” he said.


“I might not want to get back into coaching but if I do it will be in June next year.


“I’ve already been asked to do the Toulon job straight after the World Cup but I’ve promised the (Italy) team I wouldn’t take a team straight after the World Cup.


“I want to concentrate solely on the World Cup and then step back a little bit.


“I won’t coach in South Africa again, there’s always opportunities in France because I speak French and also in England but I’ll look at it then and it will give me six to eight months (to think about it).”


He may not have convinced the Italian Federation to keep him on but Mallett believes the job he’s done here has enhanced his reputation.


“I think I’m very lucky because having coached Italy usually you lose your reputation, you don’t make your reputation coaching Italy because the challenge is enormous,” he said.


“It’s staggering for example that there is not an Italian qualified number 10 anywhere in the whole world playing first division rugby.


“(Luciano) Orquera played for Brive but he was the second or third choice, Ricky (Riccardo Bocchino) has just been cut from the Aironi squad and these are the two guys I’m taking (to New Zealand).


“I don’t think even Fiji, Samoa or Japan have got that situation. Prior to finding (Fabio) Semenzato and Ugo Gori we had the same problem at scrum-half so the challenges are absolutely incredible in this job and I’m just relieved to have lasted four years and still have got credit.


“Maybe not enough inside Italian rugby to keep my job for two more years but certainly I have got enough credit from outside Italian rugby otherwise why would I have got so much contact to do big jobs.”

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