Cricket: Former Australia coach Arthur rules out England after taking rugby role

PERTH (AFP) - Dumped Australia cricket coach Mickey Arthur on Friday ruled out applying for the vacant England job after being appointed head of the Super 15 rugby team Western Force's development programme.

The South African, who was ousted just before the start of the Ashes series in England last year with two years left on his contract, said he was settled in Perth.

"That won't be me," he said when asked by reporters if he was interested in the England job, which has been free since Andy Flower quit last month after losing the Ashes 5-0 on a disastrous tour to Australia.

"I'm very happy with the mix I've got in my life at the moment," added Arthur, who has also coached the South African national team.

The 45-year-old was hired as Australia's cricket coach in 2011 but was sacked after the team lost a Test series in India 4-0 and followed it up with a poor showing at the Champions Trophy in England.

He sued Cricket Australia for his job back or up to A$4 million (S$4.54 million), claiming there was a deliberate campaign against him and he had no choice but to take legal action.

The two sides reached an undisclosed settlement and he said he was excited to now be working in rugby with Perth-based Western Force.

"Having had an interest in rugby over a long period of time, it's very exciting to be involved with a programme like this," he said.

"Perth is a dynamic, wonderful place to live with a growing appetite for rugby, and this opportunity will excite a lot of young players not only in Perth and Australia but around the world."

He said his role would involve "providing a holistic programme - rugby, education and careers advice as well as social introductions - for those hungry for an opportunity and wishing to live their rugby dreams".

As well as nurturing home-grown talent, the "Future Force" programme will also attempt identify young players from abroad, and relocate them to Perth.

"Our first priority is growing the game in Western Australia and the primary objective of the Future Force programme is to broaden our rugby base here in the state," said RugbyWA chief Mark Sinderberry.

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