Jake White says he can win the World Cup again if he succeeds Stuart Lancaster as England head coach.
The 52-year-old South African is the bookmakers’ favourite to succeed Lancaster, who left the post on Wednesday after England failed to make it out of their World Cup group.
White, coach of French Top 14 side Montpellier, lifted the Webb Ellis Cup with South Africa in 2007.
“I have a burning desire to win another World Cup,” he said.
“I can win the World Cup for England. I would never be saying that I was keen on the job if I did not believe I could do it.”
White says he has been in contention for roles in the England set-up on three previous occasions.
He said: “When Rob Andrew got his role, I was on the shortlist, when Martin Johnson got picked, I was on the shortlist, when Lancaster got picked, I was on the shortlist.”
England launch ‘global’ coach hunt
White had earlier told BBC Radio 5 live the job was one of the best in world sport as “everyone is striving for everything England have got”.
He added: “They have more players than any other country, more resources, and they’re the envy of every other country on their home ground.
“They have things in place they need to address but I think that’s why they’re a sleeping giant.”
White the World Cup winner
After three years at the helm, White guided his home nation to World Cup success in France in 2007.
He has since coached the Brumbies and the Sharks in Super Rugby, and has been in charge at Montpellier since 2014.
When asked about being approached for the England job, the two-time IRB Coach of the Year said: “If they’re genuinely interested in me, and they thought I was the right guy, I’d be honoured to be involved.
“But it’s a long shot. No-one has come to ask me so at this point in time it’s just media hype.”
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Jones ‘wholly committed’ to Stormers
Australian Eddie Jones and former New Zealand assistant coach Wayne Smith have also been strongly linked with the post.
Smith, however, has distanced himself from the role, insisting he is taking a sabbatical having helped the All Blacks win the World Cup last month.
Former England head coach Stuart Lancaster
Who will replace Stuart Lancaster?
Jones, who led Japan to a memorable World Cup campaign, has taken up his post as head coach of Cape Town-based Super Rugby franchise the Stormers.
Asked about the England job during a news conference on Thursday, he said: “I am wholly committed to the Stormers.
“When I wake up in the morning, I look out on to Table Mountain and think of how lucky I am to be here.
“I feel privileged to get the chance to coach the Stormers. It is my aim to produce a really good rugby team that can deliver on the expectations of the fans. That is my goal at the moment.”
English coach for England?
Exeter Chiefs head coach Rob Baxter had been mentioned as a potential successor to Lancaster, but has reaffirmed his desire to see out his contract at Sandy Park.
Baxter told BBC Sport he would like to see an Englishman take over, citing Northampton director of rugby Jim Mallinder and Leicester counterpart Richard Cockerill as possible candidates.
“There are coaches there who have done their time and I would like to think they would at least get asked, or be thought of as genuine contenders, before we start thinking that we’ve got to bring in an overseas coach,” said Baxter.