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Steele plans to be revealed

Rugby Football Union chief executive John Steele will reveal the full details of his management shake-up on Thursday - and the impact it will have on Rob Andrew's future.

Steele launched a comprehensive review of the RFU when he took over at Twickenham four months ago and he presented his findings to the board of directors at a meeting in Birmingham on Wednesday.

The former UK Sport boss set out to strengthen the RFU in preparation for hosting the 2015 Rugby World Cup and his recommendations were unanimously approved.

Andrew's wide-ranging role as England's elite rugby director, which he has held since beating Sir Clive Woodward to the appointment in 2006, is one of those to have come under the microscope.

Steele is expected to announced that Andrew's role will be redefined, opening the way for the appointment of a new performance director.

"I am delighted that the board unanimously accepted my recommendations for change," said Steele, who will speak to his staff this morning before going public with his plans.

"We have a hugely exciting five years ahead of us and I want to make sure we are in the best possible shape to the seize the opportunity a home World Cup gives us to grow and develop the game from the grassroots to the elite level.

"The changes we agreed will deliver a simpler management structure with clearer leadership and are changes that are right for rugby and right for the RFU."

It has been suggested that the performance director role could appeal to someone of Woodward's experience, altough the exact job description remained under wraps. England's 2003 World Cup-winning coach is currently employed as elite performance director at the British Olympic Association.

The recommendations have not impacted on Martin Johnson and the England coaching team, who will remain in place until at least the World Cup later this year.


From Belfast Telegraph