Former South Africa and Italy coach Nick Mallett decided against the England job last year because he felt he couldn't get the people he wanted around him on board.
Following England's dismal World Cup campaign under Stuart Lancaster, where they failed to qualify from the pool stages, Mallett was reportedly approached by the RFU to take the role, before Eddie Jones was eventually chosen as the man to lead England into 2016.
Mallett, who now works as a television pundit and an analyst for Accenture, explained to IBTimes UK he was initially keen to take on the role, having also been in the running to take the reins in 2012. But the 59-year-old explained an essential condition was that he was able to enlist the services of former New Zealand coach Wayne Smith, who is currently taking a break from the game having helped the All Blacks win their third World Cup last year.
"When [Stuart] Lancaster resigned after 2015 World Cup, I contacted Wayne Smith again and said: 'Listen, if there is an approach, would you be prepared to work with me?' But he said he was burnt out," Mallett told IBTimes UK. "He had won the World Cup with the All Blacks and his heart was really with the All Blacks, he couldn't see himself coaching a national side against the All Blacks, he would have found that difficult.
"At that stage in life, it would have been a very stressful job and I would have wanted to get the people I respect and believe I can get on with [around me]. And when I wasn't able to get Wayne in, I then didn't reapply."
Working alongside Smith has always been fundamental to Mallett's plans whenever he has considered the England job.
"I applied for it [the England job] just after the 2012 Six Nations, Lancaster was appointed as an interim, but there were interviews for the permanent position. The RFU then decided to stick with Lancaster so I missed out on that opportunity. At that time I had Wayne agreed to coach with me.
"Wayne is an outstanding coach, he has done incredibly well with New Zealand both as an attack coach and a defence coach. I got on really well with him whenever I coached with him, and I thought it would be fantastic to work with him. We both had very similar mind-sets, we treat players the same way, we analyse the game the same way. I really thought we would help the England cause, the two of us working together. But in the end, they decided to go with Lancaster."
Nick Mallett is part of the Accenture Analysis Team during the RBS 6 Nations, providing fans with insight and analysis to #Seebeyond standard match data. Follow @AccentureRugby, visit accenture-rugby.com or download the Official RBS 6 Nations app.