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Thursday, 28 September, 2000, 06:11 GMT 07:11 UK
Mallett a candidate for England role
Nick Mallett's resignation as South Africa coach could put him line for the top coaching job in the English game.
The Rugby Football Union is currently searching for a performance director to take charge of its coaching structure at all age levels, a post reputed to be worth £200,000 a year.
Hertfordshire-born Mallett had been linked with the position and he is now available after quitting as Springboks coach just hours after a disciplinary hearing began into allegations that he brought the game into disrepute.
His decision to step down came after the first day of a planned three-day investigation in Cape Town into a newspaper report in which 43-year-old Mallett accused the South Africa Rugby Football Union of "greed" for selling Tri-Nations championship tickets at inflated prices.
The 43-year-old maintained that his remarks were made unwittingly in the presence of a reporter.
Mallett's resignation brought a sad end to a three-year reign which reached a peak in 1998 when the Springboks equalled the world record by winning 17 consecutive Tests.
His side has enjoyed less success since then however, with defending champions South Africa losing to Australia after extra-time in a 1999 World Cup semi-final at Twickenham.
Springbok pride received further dents this year as England shared a Test series in South Africa, while Australia beat them twice, and New Zealand once, in the Tri-Nations competition.
Mallett also came under heavy media and public fire for transforming the Boks from a team relying heavily on forward strength to one which ran the ball at all costs, often with disastrous results.
By resigning, the former Springbok number eight, whose family took him to South Africa when he was seven, forfeited the right to payment for the remaining 15 months of his contract, an estimated £100,000.
Another former Springbok number eight, Newport skipper Gary Teichmann was not sure about a coaching post in Britain for Mallett.
"I'm not sure if he will come over - I think he will weigh up his options," he said.
"Controversy in south African never stops and the players will want to put the change of coach behind them," he added.
Former Gauteng Lions, Natal Sharks and Western Province coach Harry Viljoen is favourite to succeed him.
A statement issued by SARFU and Mallett confirmed his resignation and said the union had withdrawn all allegations against Mallett and wished him success in the future.
Mallett expressed his deep and sincere gratitude to his management team, led by assistant coach Alan Solomons, and wished the Springboks good luck on a tour to Argentina, Ireland, Wales and England this year.
A joint statement issued by the South African Rugby Football Union and Mallett said the dispute had been resolved "in the interests of the game of rugby."
The statement went on to say: "The terms of the settlement agreement are confidential and neither party will disclose the terms to any person, save to record that in the light of the above, SARFU has unreservedly withdrawn all allegations of misconduct against Nick Mallett.
"SARFU records its gratitude to Nick Mallett for his excellent service to South African rugby as its national coach over the past three years and wishes him well for the future.
"Nick Mallett would like to express his deep and sincere gratitude to his management team and to all the players who have played for South Africa while he has had the privilege of being the national coach.
"He also thanks the public for their support for him over the years. He wishes the Springbok team all success in their forthcoming tour overseas, and in the future.
"Finally, he wishes his successor the best of luck."
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