Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Andrew RFU Rugby Role Changed

The Rugby Football Union have on Wednesday revealed that England's elite rugby director Rob Andrew is to be appointed as the organisation's professional rugby director.

Andrew came into strong criticism after keeping hold of his job following the recent disappointing Rugby World Cup performances in New Zealand.

The former England fly-half twice stated that he would not be resigning but at a press conference at Twickenham, his new role was announced.

His new position will not involve direct contact with the senior team but he will have responsibility for other representative teams and the relationship with Premiership Rugby, with Ian Metcalfe, chairman of the PGB, insisting that Andrew's change of position was in no way a demotion.

"I don't think it's a demotion at all," he said.

"One of the ways we failed Rob is not explaining the breadth of what he is trying to do.

"He has a significant contribution to continue to make."

The RFU will appoint an interim coach to lead the national team into next year's Six Nations Championship while it searches for a permanent replacement for the outgoing Johnson.

The governing body revealed that Johnson's successor will be named in time for the tour of South Africa in June, and will report directly to the RFU's new chief executive, who will be appointed by the turn of the year.

The interim coach will be hired before England's Six Nations squad is named on January 11. Meanwhile, acting chief executive Stephen Brown had opened matters by apologising.

"The most important thing is to make an apology to everyone involved in rugby for the performance of the World Cup and the surrounding events," Brown said.

"We've let ourselves down as a sport and as a team. It's important we recognise that and take some action going forward.

"Standards were below what we expect, we had a number of off-pitch disciplinary matters and that attracted a lot of negative coverage which we regret.

"We need to fix this going forward and make sure we are in a better place going into 2015 and the report is aimed to do that."