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Thomas intent on staying put

The acting chief executive of the Rugby Football Union, Martyn Thomas, has ruled out resigning in the wake of England's early exit from the Rugby World Cup.

The Red Rose crashed out of the tournament with a 19-12 defeat to France - a disappointing result having reached the last two finals and winning the tournament in 2003. Rob Andrew, RFU operations director, will now undertake a comprehensive "root and branch" review of England's failed campaign before deciding on the future of coach Martin Johnson.

However, Thomas, who has already survived two votes of no confidence, is refusing to consider stepping down. He told BBC Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek: "I'm not in the business on turning my back on conflict."

He added: "I've never done it in life and I'm not going to start doing it later in life.

"I am not going to resign over what's gone on because I don't believe I have anything to resign over. Other people may judge it differently and they are entitled to do so."

And asked what his position would be is there was another vote of no confidence, he said: "I'm very disappointed that anyone that has England rugby at heart as opposed to a personal agenda, whatever they think of me, would even contemplate trying to put that into the public domain while we're in the middle of a Rugby World Cup campaign.

"If they want to start it now the campaign is over, so be it.

"I've survived two votes of no confidence at the last two council meetings and that's all I can do really.

"If they want to pursue it, so be it. My heart is in always in doing what I believe are in the best interests for England and supporting the England team.

"It's a matter for others to judge if that's what they want and if they want someone else to do it."

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