Some Added Steele

8 10 2010

There appears to finally be some evidence of strong leadership emerging from the RFU over the past few days. John Steele, ex Northampton Heineken Cup winning coach and fly-half, has taken over from Francis Baron as Chief Executive of the RFU and has indicated that English rugby – with particular reference to Team England – is in for a real shake up.

The core message appears to be that he is not happy with England’s current position of 6th in the world rankings and that things have to change. What is different to Francis Baron’s interpretation of the job is that he has indicated a willingness to make tough decisions with regard to the positions of Head Coach Martin Johnson and his cohorts. Baron on the other hand let Rob Andrew take responsibility in his role as Elite Director of Rugby for the coaching staff (and therefore ultimately England’s performance) – a situation that has lead to a a succession of fiasco’s and wrong decisions.

To be fair to Baron in many ways he did a brilliant job for English rugby and it has been his financial nous that ensured English rugby is in such a position of strength – at least economically. That England should be languishing amongst the lower reaches of the senior nations is obviously not good enough and therefore it is a positive step to find someone willing to put the rugby first in charge.

With Steele willing to take responsibility, importantly indicating a willingness to change things pre-world cup should the performances this Autumn not meet the required levels, perhaps England fans can look forward to a period of renewed prosperity over the coming years. The question this raises is one that England fans have been asking for some time – what therefore is Rob Andrew’s role?

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