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Page last updated at 15:42 GMT, Thursday, 6 January 2011

Rob Andrew's role at RFU scrapped in overhaul

Outgoing RFU director of elite rugby Rob Andrew
Andrew was appointed as director of elite rugby in 2006

Rob Andrew's role as director of elite rugby at the Rugby Football Union (RFU) has been scrapped in an overhaul of the organisation's structure.

Chief executive John Steele, who led a review, also confirmed the RFU would be appointing a new performance director.

BBC Sport understands that Sir Clive Woodward will not apply for an RFU post, staying in his Olympic role.

The new structure will take six to nine months to put in place and Andrew will remain in his position until then.

With approval from the executive board, Steele has decided to create a more streamlined approach in the build up to the 2015 World Cup due to be held in England.

There will be a single rugby department divided into the areas of performance, operations and development with each area having its own director.

Those positions will be advertised from next week and it is understood Andrew, who was appointed as elite director of rugby in August 2006, has been invited to apply for the post of operations director.


England team manager Martin Johnson will report to the new performance director but it is unclear whether this position will be filled in time for his team's first Six Nations game against Wales on 4 February or the 2011 Rugby World Cup due to begin on 9 September.

Andrew said in a statement: "Change is never easy but there are some exciting opportunities and challenges ahead.

"I will be considering the role of rugby operations director in the coming weeks and in the meantime will continue with my responsibilities as Elite Rugby Director."

Steele added: "[This] announcement is all about looking forward not back and ensuring that we have the best people in place to serve and lead rugby in England as we prepare for a home World Cup in 2015.

"In view of this we are placing huge emphasis on developing the leadership and vision for the new rugby department. The three senior appointments in the rugby area are hugely important to the future of the game.

Sir Clive Woodward
Eddie Jones
Jake White
Jim Mallinder
Nigel Melville
Nick Mallett

"We have invited Rob to apply for the rugby operations director role which is a game wide role responsible for creating the rugby infrastructure required to make rugby work across England."

Andrew came under fire last year after England's Six Nations campaign but oversaw a resurgence in the team during the autumn internationals.

The 47-year-old beat Woodward to the role of director of elite rugby in 2006 and has had a wide-ranging role since.

He successfully brokered a deal with the Premiership clubs for better access to England players and among his many roles has overall responsibility for England teams at all levels.

The former fly-half appointed current team manager Johnson, but with British Olympic Association performance director Woodward ruling himself out of the running to concentrate on a "home Olympics", the focus will switch to Andrew's effective successor.

Former Australia head coach Eddie Jones is among those to have expressed an interest.

Other options could include former South Africa coach Jake White, Northampton rugby director Jim Mallinder, who has played twice for England, and former England scrum-half Nigel Melville who is now chief executive of USA Rugby.

The RFU also said that roles for a chief commercial officer and a chief financial officer will be created with enhanced responsibilities, while five executives have left the business with immediate effect as their roles no longer exist within the new structure.

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see also
Hunt to lead Team GB at Olympics
22 Oct 10 |  Olympics
English rugby chief not scared of change
22 Oct 10 |  Rugby Union
Steele named English rugby chief
09 Jun 10 |  English
England face crunch Test
18 Jun 10 |  Rugby Union
British Olympics job for Woodward
06 Sep 06 |  Other sport...

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