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New role for Andrew

Rob Andrew

Rob Andrew is to be appointed as the Rugby Football Union's professional rugby director following Wednesday's meeting of the Professional Game Board.

Andrew's position as elite director of rugby had been the subject of speculation since the team's dismal World Cup campaign, and he twice stated that he would not be resigning.

His new role will not involve direct contact with the senior national team but he will have responsibility for other representative teams and the relationship with Premiership Rugby.

Ian Metcalfe, chairman of the PGB, insisted Andrew's change of role was not a demotion, telling a press conference at Twickenham: "I don't think it's a demotion at all.

"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."

However, Andrew's new position does seem to increase the chances of former South Africa and Italy head coach Nick Mallett becoming England manager.

Earlier this month Mallett was quoted as saying that: "The head coach should answer to the management board, not to a director of rugby or a guy with a similar title."

Asked about the appointment of Martin Johnson's replacement, Metcalfe added: "We will take as much time as we need to make that appointment.

"I spoke to Nick Mallett after Martin resigned and he explained he was back in Cape Town - I've not spoken to him since he has arrived here.

"He's somebody you would expect to be on any wider list but we want to make it as open a process as possible. There are a number of high-quality coaches in the Premiership and we would be very interested in their interest in the job."