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Last Updated: Thursday, 30 November 2006, 09:51 GMT
England 'must wait for new coach'
Rob Andrew
Andrew is leading the hunt for Robinson's replacement
England are unlikely to have a new head coach in place for the start of the 2007 Six Nations, says Rob Andrew.

"If you are a betting man you would think it is highly likely (no-one will be appointed by 3 February)," said the Rugby Football Union's elite director.

Andrew, who has ruled himself out of the running to succeed Andy Robinson, also said the RFU are looking for a manager rather than a coach.

England kick off their 2007 Six Nations campaign at home to Scotland.

Robinson, 42, was axed on Wednesday after winning just nine of his 22 games in charge.

A host of names have been linked with the England job, including World Cup-winning captain Martin Johnson, former South Africa coach Nick Mallett, Harlequins coach Dean Richards and former Wasps and Ireland coach Warren Gatland.

606 DEBATE: Who do you want to see step into the role?

But Andrew says the RFU will not be rushed into making an appointment, despite next year's World Cup in France less than 10 months away.

"We have to take our time to get it right, that's the most important thing," said the former England fly-half, who will make his recommendations to Club England on 7 December.

"We have to look at who might be available and who might have the skills to do the job.

People might be out there looking at it saying 'I don't fancy this much, I will wait until after the World Cup'

Rob Andrew

"Inevitably, there is a chance that the person will be already employed somewhere else and there is a an awful lot of work to be done before we get to that stage.

"People might be out there looking at it saying 'I don't fancy this much, I will wait until after the World Cup'.

"So there is a whole range of issues that need resolving."

Andrew envisages the new man working with the coaching team that is already in place.

Attack coach Brian Ashton, defence coach Mike Ford and forwards coach John Wells were appointed after this year's disappointing Six Nations campaign.

"We have a good coaching team in place," said Andrew. "The chances are that we are looking at the skills of more of a manager than a coach."

Following Robinson's departure after 25 months in charge, the focus has once again switched to the problems faced by English rugby.

There are some serious issues that affect the game and everybody is aware of those

Rob Andrew

In his departing statement, Robinson insisted the current structure and system for developing elite rugby players and performance in the international arena was not working.

Andrew agreed, adding: "He is absolutely right, Andy has had a very difficult system to work under since 2003.

"It is no doubt that the system we operate in has been leapfrogged by other countries, most notably New Zealand but also Ireland and Wales.

"Two countries at international level that are struggling with their systems are France and England.

"There are some serious issues that affect the game and everybody is aware of those.

"We have a very complicated system and structure with our Premiership clubs and we have to work to try and improve that system."

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