Newcastle boss Rob Andrew has been appointed as the Rugby Football Union's elite director of rugby.
Andrew has been with Newcastle since 1995
The former England fly-half will oversee all aspects of representative rugby in England, from the regional academies to the full senior side.
The post was created in April after a review of England's coaching set-up following a disappointing Six Nations.
Andrew beat 2003 World Cup-winning coach Sir Clive Woodward and former Lions supremo Ian McGeechan to the job.
Woodward left the RFU under a cloud in September 2004 and criticised RFU chief executive Francis Baron in his resignation speech.
However, the Southampton director of football had been one of the favourites to land the post and was in the final three-man short-list.
I want to work closely with the club owners and the directors of rugby
Baron said: "I phoned Clive this morning to break the news. He was obviously disappointed, but he went through the same process and had the same chance as everyone else.
"We went into the process with no pre-conceptions.
"We had a selection process that judged the candidates over a range of
issues. It was always going to be close - it was always going to be a narrow
Woodward congratuled Andrew on his appointment, and said: "I wish Rob Andrew and Andy Robinson the very best of luck. They will make a good team."
Andrew, who starts his new role on 1 September after 11 years at Newcastle, said his new role was a fantastic opportunity.
ROB ANDREW FACTFILE
Born: 18/2/63, Yorkshire
1985: Moves from Nottingham to Wasps; makes England debut
1989: Earns call-up for winning Lions tour to Australia
1990: Wins league title with Wasps
1991: Claims Five Nations Grand Slam with England
1991: Plays in England's World Cup final loss to Australia
1992: Wins Five Nations Grand Slam again; joins Toulouse for a season before returning to Wasps
1993: Selected for Lions tour to New Zealand
1995: Wins his third Five Nations Grand Slam with England
1995: Kicks a 50m drop goal to send Australia out of the World Cup; awarded MBE
1995: Agrees to join Newcastle
1996: Makes Newcastle debut
1998: Leads Newcastle to Premiership title in their first season in the top flight
2001: Newcastle win Powergen Cup
2004: Falcons win Powergen Cup for the second time
2006: Appointed as RFU elite director of rugby
"I'd firstly like to thank Newcastle for giving me 11 very memorable years of club rugby," said Andrew.
"We achieved a lot during my time at the club, developed a lot of exciting players and the support I had from the board, players and supporters was invaluable throughout my time here.
"Moving away from Newcastle has of course been a difficult decision for me to make but the challenge offered by the elite rugby director role was one I couldn't turn down."
The 43-year-old led the Falcons to the Premiership title in 1998 as well as two Powergen Cup victories and will be replaced by former Northampton and Newcastle centre John Fletcher at Kingston Park.
Andrew will also mastermind strategy and selection for the England team, recruit coaches and try to broker a deal with the clubs over player availability.
He now heads a coaching structure that was revamped in response to England's alarming slump in form since the World Cup win in November 2003.
Things came to a head in March when England finished fourth in the Six Nations for the second year running.
Andrew was in charge of Newcastle for 326 games
The coaching review led to 10 people losing their jobs, including defensive coach Phil Larder and kicking guru Dave Alred, although national head coach Andy Robinson retained his role.
Andrew has effectively been promoted above Robinson and key to England's success in the 2007 World Cup will be how the pair forge an effective working relationship.
Andrew, who won 71 England caps, will be seen by some as the ideal man to build bridges between the RFU and English clubs following their recent row which saw both parties appear at the High Court.
The dispute centred on control of England's top players, as well as their availability for the Test against New Zealand on 5 November.
"The time I've spent in professional Premiership club rugby has been invaluable," added Andrew.
"I want to work closely with the club owners and the directors of rugby so that we can reach agreements, which will mutually benefit both parties and take international and club rugby in this country to another level."
And his appointment was welcomed by Premier Rugby Limited (PRL), the organisation representing England's top clubs that has endured such a difficult relationship with the RFU.
"We look forward to working with Rob and beginning meaningful discussions on a framework which can provide for a winning England team, as well as supporting growth and success both domestically and in Europe for our club sides," said PRL chief executive Mark McCafferty.