England’s director of elite rugby, Ron Andrew has ruled out resigning from his post at the Rugby Football Union amid growing pressure.
Team manager Martin Johnson quit earlier this month and yesterday Brian Smith, the attack coach appointed by Johnson, left his post after heavy criticism in leaked reports from the players’ union.
However, whilst Andrew claims that English rugby has hit rock bottom, he has categorically ruled out tendering his resignation. He said, “The reality of my job is that I’m not the England team manager. I’m the elite rugby director and I run a big department. But I absolutely accept responsibility for what is going on here. Does it mean I’m going to resign? No I’m not. Does it mean it’s all broken? No it doesn’t. I am part of the RFU and people have to judge the department on how it is being run. The [RFU management] board will judge me. There are some big decisions to make over the next few weeks. We need a new chief executive, and a new head coach.”
England had a highly disappointing World Cup, losing in the quarter-finals but rarely playing well in a campaign that was also severely blighted by off-field problems. Unrest was heightened on Wednesday when The Times published leaks from confidential reviews carried out by the RFU, the players’ association and various Aviva Premiership clubs.
The leaks revealed a divided squad that was highly critical of management and coaches. There has been widespread condemnation of the way the information has come to light but many feel that the time has now come for Andrew to leave his post.