Andrew defends RFU role

Rob Andrew has defended his position as the Rugby Football Union’s director of elite rugby in the face of growing criticism.

Rob Andrew has defended his position as the Rugby Football Union’s director of elite rugby in the face of growing criticism.

Lawrence Dallaglio turned on Andrew in a stinging attack on the weekend, blaming his former team-mate for England’s lack of progress under manager Martin Johnson.

The World Cup finalists have won just three of their eight matches this season and finished a dispiriting third in the RBS 6 Nations.

But Andrew is happy with his performance, even though England appear further than ever from realising the RFU’s strategic plan of winning two World Cups and four Six Nations titles before 2017.

“I’m not going anywhere before the World Cup. Lawrence is entitled to his views,” he said.

“My role is reviewed by the management board. I review what happens in the whole of the department and with Martin and the senior coaches.

“I’m comfortable with the job I’m doing, the department as it is and what we’ve achieved over the last three years. I’m very comfortable.

“The strategic plan is over eight years. It’s a wide-ranging plan and we are not where we’d like to be in terms of winning the Six Nations.

“We have to look at why that’s happened and how we move forward.

“This criticism that is now in the game is just the modern way. You just have to get on with it.”

Johnson’s position is not under threat but England’s World Cup-winning captain has been forced to once again mount a robust defence of his coaching lieutenants.

John Wells (forwards), Brian Smith (attack) and Mike Ford (defence) are in the firing line amid calls from various former players for changes to be made.

But Johnson has confirmed the trio will be in place for the summer tour to Australia.

“I don’t anticipate making any changes. I thought the coaches did an outstanding job this season, particularly in the autumn,” said Johnson.

“It’s not the ex-players having a go at the coaching staff, it’s just criticising has become the thing to do in English rugby.

“I judge the coaches every day. I get judged by them every day.

“I think the coaches have done a fantastic job in the face of criticism that is ill-informed a lot of the time in my opinion.

“We’re in a results-driven business. The players know that. If they don’t play very well they’ll be out.

“If I don’t do a very good job I won’t be here very long, I understand that. It’s the way it should be.”

More in this section

Sport Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox