Thomas expects Gatland to reject England


Former Wales captain Gareth Thomas does not believe head coach Warren Gatland will be tempted to take the vacant England position.

England are searching for Stuart Lancaster's replacement after he resigned on Wednesday following England's dismal showing at the Rugby World Cup, where the hosts were eliminated in the pool stages.

New Zealander Gatland, whose Wales side beat England in a crucial Pool A fixture, is one of several names linked to the post with former South Africa coach Jake White also interested.

However, Thomas - who earned 100 Wales caps between 1995 and 2007 - expects Gatland to honour his contract, which would see him lead Wales through the next World Cup in Japan in 2019.

"[I think] he'll see his time out with Wales and probably go back to New Zealand," he told BBC Sport.

"I'm sure England would want to make a move for someone like him after seeing what he's done for Wales.

"Since he's been in charge, Wales have been amazingly successful - unfortunately not against the mights of the southern hemisphere as much as he would like.

"But we are such a force now in world rugby and are feared and respected, and that's due to the players, yes, but also due to him and the structure he's given the players.

"So I'm sure they'd want him and if anybody could afford him, the RFU [Rugby Football Union], I'm sure, could."