Saracens reluctant to let Alex Sanderson become Paul Gustard's England replacement

Alex Sanderson is one of a number of names linked with replacing Paul Gustard as England's defence coach. Getty Images

Saracens would be reluctant to lose Alex Sanderson to England after Mark McCall revealed he is seen as his eventual successor as the club's director of rugby.

Eddie Jones is looking for a new defensive mastermind after Paul Gustard agreed to join Harlequins as head coach upon completion of next month's tour to South Africa.

Sanderson, who in 2005 was forced to retire as a 25-year-old due to a back injury, replaced Gustard at Allianz Park and has also been touted to fill his shoes with England, but McCall insists Saracens are eager to retain the services of a coach they rate very highly.

"Not really no," McCall said when asked if he would be happy for Sanderson to join Jones' backroom staff.

"It'll be Alex's decision, that's for sure. Alex contributes so much to this club that it's hard for us to say really. He's not just a defence coach, he's way more than that. He's a brilliant coach.

"But he also understands that he's young -- he started coaching when he was 27. He knows he's in a great place and a great job at the moment and he's in no rush as far as I can see.

"He should be the director of rugby at this club at some point. And I hope that's what he wants to do.

"As a club we want to promote from within when it's possible, that's for sure. If I'm told to leave or leave, then Alex should be the only candidate for the job.

"Paul worked with us for six years and was brilliant here. He's our friend first and foremost, and also a great coach."