• Help Support The Rugby Forum :

Andrew accepts top England role



Originally posted by BBC SPORT
Newcastle boss Rob Andrew has been appointed as the Rugby Football Union's elite director of rugby.

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 high-profile candidates, including World Cup-winning coach Sir Clive Woodward, for the job.

"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 ***le 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, who starts his new role on 1 September after 11 years at Newcastle, 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.

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.

"The search to appoint the elite rugby director was a thorough one," said Baron.

"Interviews took place in England, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa so that all potential candidates could be looked at to ensure we got the right person.

"We have achieved that and we are all looking forward to working with Rob."

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.

Woodward, who led England to World Cup glory in 2003, left the RFU under a cloud in September 2004 and criticised chief executive Francis Baron in his resignation speech.

The Southampton director of football had been one of the favourites to land the post ever since its creation was announced in April.

Wasps director of rugby Ian McGeechan, former Springbok coach Nick Mallett, ex-Wasps director of rugby Warren Gatland and former Australia coach Eddie Jones were also thought to have been in the running.



Well lets hope this gets the squad sorted out...
I'm confused.

People are talking about Rob Andrew being the man to bridge the gap between the clubs and RFU. They conveniently seem to be forgetting that a lot of people wish Rob Andrew would shut up at times, and that he is often criticised for being a moaning git.

It should have been Woodward or no one for this role.

Preferrably the latter.