Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 22 October 2014

Andrew in running for RFU role

Rob Andrew

Rob Andrew has applied for the newly-created role of operations director at the Rugby Football Union after his current position was scrapped as part of a managerial overhaul.

Andrew has been the RFU's director of elite rugby since 2006 but that role will no longer exist under the new management structure being implemented by chief executive John Steele.

The elite rugby department is being merged with the community arm of the RFU to form a single streamlined department divided into three areas - high performance, development and operations.

There had been speculation that Andrew, like the finance director Nick Eastwood, could decide to move on from the RFU following Steele's restructure. But Andrew's decision to apply for the wide-ranging operations role indicates his desire to play a key role at the RFU in the build-up to the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England.

The RFU council was informed of Andrew's decision on Monday night. Steele is said to be delighted by the quality of applicants for all three rugby department positions.

Andrew, who negotiated the RFU's current eight-year agreement with the Premiership clubs, must be considered a front-runner for the operations role after being invited to apply by Steele.

The operations director will manage the RFU's relationship with Premiership Rugby and the Rugby Players' Association while overseeing all the support networks for the professional and community game in England.

That brief includes the development of coaches below England level, referee development, overseeing competition structures, player welfare, research and innovations, sports science and medicine.

The operations director would have to work closely with the new performance director, a position with which Sir Clive Woodward has been heavily linked, and the development director. The RFU will be putting the candidates through a series of psychometric tests to ensure their compatibility.

Steele, who was shocked at the way the RFU was being managed before his arrival, is implementing the restructure in to order to maximise the benefits to the whole of English rugby of hosting the World Cup.

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