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Steele makes England vow

The Rugby Football Union's new chief executive John Steele has vowed that no expense would be spared in propelling England back to the top of the world rankings.

Steele, the former Northampton fly-half and coach, was appointed from UK Sport as Francis Baron's replacement charged with putting rugby back at the heart of the RFU's agenda.

"To be blunt, everyone connected with the game would like to see England's ranking higher than it is now," said Steele, who took office on Monday.

He added: "We are the richest union in the world and that is something that is of massive credit to my predecessor - but that is a means to an end.

"We are not a FTSE 100 company, we are an organisation that is here to serve and lead rugby. Profit is fantastic but it is a means of investing in the game.

"Your top team is your showcase, it is hugely important. You cannot buy high-performance success but you do need a minimum amount of resources.

"I don't believe a union with the resources we have should see money around the high performance area as being restrictive."

Steele is not planning a review of the elite department, headed by Rob Andrew, and he has not yet had a chance to meet with England team manager Martin Johnson.

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