Lawrence Dallaglio admits his England career could be at an end but has urged the Rugby Football Union to consider a foreign coach if they choose to replace Brian Ashton.
Dallaglio, 35, has been in the spotlight ever since England went down 15-6 in the World Cup final and he made a series of scathing comments about Ashton’s preparation and leadership in his autobiography.
England team-mate Mike Catt was in a similar position but moved this week to distance himself from his most critical comments and affirmed his belief that Ashton should retain a coaching role in any managerial restructuring.
Dallaglio has not retired but, with the RFU registering their extreme displeasure at the nature and timing of his comments, he concedes he may have represented his country for the final time.
He told The Guardian: "I’m 35 and I’m pretty realistic. I may well have played my last game for England.
"If you read the comments of certain people they would appear to hope I have."
Rob Andrew is currently heading a review of England’s preparations for the World Cup and Ashton will find out his future once that is complete.
And with the likes of Jake White, the outgoing Springboks coach, and Dallaglio’s former Wasps coach Warren Gatland mentioned as potential successors, he has urged the game’s powerbrokers to consider an overseas appointment.
"We’re at a crossroads and where we go from here is important," said the veteran.
"I’m sure they (the RFU) won’t be fazed by any comments myself, or anyone else, has made.
"My attitude would be to say ‘let’s forget about country or nationality’ and go with the best for us."
He went on to reveal he had spoken to Ashton since making his comments – which he insists were honest rather than malicious – but did not offer details.
"Some people will see what I have done as a breach of trust and I accept the timing is not ideal," he added.
"I’ve always been a firm believer that if you’ve got strong feelings you should express them.
"I’ve spoken to Brian but I think what was said should stay between us."