Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

Meeting planned for RFU board

RFU Headquarters

The Rugby Football Union's management board are meeting on Wednesday to discuss the recommendations made by the critical reviews into England's World Cup debacle.

The reports, leaked to The Times last week, were compiled by the RFU, the Rugby Players' Association and the Aviva Premiership clubs and presented to the Professional Game Board.

Stuart Lancaster, who currently oversees England Saxons, looks set to be appointed interim head coach - with assistance from Graham Rowntree - for the duration of the RBS 6 Nations.

With Lancaster filling the role of caretaker, the RFU will have the breathing space needed to assemble a permanent coaching team to take England to the 2015 World Cup.

It is potentially an exciting period for English rugby with high-calibre candidates Nick Mallett and Wayne Smith among those stating they would be open to an approach from Twickenham next year.

The meetings will be important for director of elite rugby Rob Andrew, who has been the target of intense criticism since Martin Johnson's resignation as manager. The RFU board meeting should prove pivotal to the future direction of Twickenham and England. The recommendations could include changes to the structure of the elite department and the national team management.

Andrew compiled the RFU report and sits on the management board, but his own role is set to come under close scrutiny.

Sports minister Hugh Robertson told Press Association Sport urgent reform of Andrew's elite department was needed after it let England down at the World Cup.

Mallett, the former South Africa, Italy and Stade Francais coach, believes there is no need for an elite rugby director to oversee the national team. Indeed, Mallett's interest in the head coach's position hinges on his demand that he report only to the board and chief executive, and not to a director of elite rugby.

The RFU anticipate announcing the identity of their new chief executive on December 14.

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