Ireland defence coach Andy Farrell rejected the chance to return to the England set-up, according to a report in the Daily Mail.

The former England rugby union and league international is seen as a vital cog in Joe Schmidt’s machine and the news that he turned down the offer to replace Paul Gustard is a boost to the Six Nations champions during the lead-in to the World Cup.

England are due to announce that former All Blacks coach John Mitchell will replace Gustard, who left for Harlequins, in Eddie Jones’ backroom team.

Farrell, who was with England while Stuart Lancaster was the head coach, has also worked with the Lions on their winning tour of Australia in 2013 and the drawn series with New Zealand in 2017.

The 43-year-old, whose son Owen is an England regular, is contracted with the IRFU until 2020.