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Last Updated: Friday, 3 November 2006, 16:41 GMT
Andrew will accept England losses
Rob Andrew and Andy Robinson
Rob Andrew wants to see Andy Robinson's side improve

Sunday, 5 November
Kick-off: 1530 GMT
Live on BBC1, BBC Radio Five Live and the BBC Sport website

England's new elite director of rugby Rob Andrew will accept defeats in all four of their autumn Tests if it helps the team's bid to retain the World Cup.

Despite losing their last five matches, Andrew believes that further England losses may not be a bad thing.

"England are not where we would like to be 10 months away from the World Cup," he told BBC Sport.

"We've got to find a formula, and if we find it through four defeats then in the long run that will be progress."

Andrew is keen to stress that head coach Andy Robinson's job is not under threat, whatever the outcome of the Tests against New Zealand, Argentina and South Africa (two).

"We are very comfortable with the group we've got," he said.

We have to give the game back to the players a little bit

Rob Andrew
"Changes have been made to the coaching team and they have worked really well together in the past two months.

"It is now down to the coaching group and the playing group coming together over the next month and hopefully getting four wins.

"That's probably not what a lot of people are expecting, but that's what we are going to hopefully get."

The former England fly-half is keen for Robinson's men to start playing a more attractive brand of rugby this month after the lack of flair of the last few years.

"We have to actually play some rugby - that is the key for England over the next month," he stressed.

"We have to play some smart rugby, we have to be intelligent in lots of different areas of the game, and that is what the coaches have been working on over the past two months.

"If you talk to the players they are excited about what's happened and they are looking forward to the challenges ahead."

By 1 January we would like to announce a squad of 40 players that we feel the World Cup 30 will come from

Rob Andrew
Andrew hinted that more responsibility will be placed on the players themselves to take the lead in determining their style of play.

"In some ways we have to give the game back to the players a little bit," he said.

"We have to find players who are prepared to make decisions, find players who are prepared to put their hands up and say, 'that's isn't working, we are going to try this' or 'this is working, let's keep doing it'.

"Some of that rugby intelligence has been missing over the last two years and it's really important if we are going to have any chance of being successful over the next 12 months that we find players who have that rugby nous to make things happen."

Andrew also revealed that he hopes he and his fellow selectors will have finalised a squad of 40 players by the end of the year from which the World Cup squad will be chosen.

"By 1 January we would like to announce a squad of 40 players, which would effectively be the second half of our elite player squad, that we feel the World Cup 30 will come out of," he said.

"And I think this next four weeks will go a long way to helping us decide that."

Watch the full interview with Rob Andrew on BBC One from 1500 GMT on Sunday 5 November.

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