England head coach role 'a hiding to nothing' - Richard Cockerill

Richard Cockerill's Edinburgh are in pole position to qualify from their Champions Cup pool after defeating Newcastle on Friday. Getty Images

Edinburgh head coach Richard Cockerill has said the England job can be "a hiding to nothing" amid speculation he could succeed Eddie Jones.

A number of names, including Warren Gatland and Stuart Lancaster, have been linked to the position since interim RFU chief executive Nigel Melville told reporters that the search to find Jones' replacement will begin in early 2019.

Cockerill, who won 27 England caps as player, has been in charge of Edinburgh since 2017, following spells at Toulon and Leicester. Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, he became the latest leading head coach to dismiss interest in the role, following Saracens' Mark McCall and Exeter's Rob Baxter.

"It is such a high-pressure job and it is almost sometimes a hiding to nothing," Cockerill said.

"Guys have come out in the last few days and said they are probably not interested, it's a really hard one.

"When you are in a really good job at your club and enjoying it, I am not sure for some guys it is that tempting to leave the day in, day out work of club rugby, which is great fun."

With Jones' contract set to expire in 2021, the RFU are keen to formulate a succession plan, much like home nations rivals Wales and Ireland have done in recent months. Wayne Pivac and Andy Farrell will replace Wales' Gatland and Ireland's Joe Schmidt respectively following the 2019 World Cup.