Rugby Union: RFU supports Rowell

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The Independent Online
Reports of Jack Rowell's demise as England rugby coach were clearly premature, despite claims in a Sunday newspaper. Twickenham has refuted suggestions that the National Playing subcommittee, which is responsible for England's coaching, had decided Rowell should go.

The subcommittee is chaired by Derek Morgan and comprises the former England internationals Bill Beaumont, Jeff Probyn and Mark Bailey, as well as the Rugby Football Union technical director, Don Rutherford, Graham Smith, John Jeavons-Fellows and Rowell himself. Although it is not denied that a meeting - from which Rowell was absent - took place, the committee is adamant that no discussion on Rowell took place.

Tony Hallett, the RFU secretary, said yesterday: "While the committee is perfectly entitled to have a meeting and discuss whatever they like, they are not constituted to take any sort of decisions on the future of anybody. And they deny they did. They just discussed the contingencies of the management of the game up to the next World Cup."

Hallett then gave the dreaded vote of confidence. "There is absolutely no question of a move to get rid of him [Rowell]," he said. "The whole of the RFU has got behind Jack and they have given him their full vote of confidence. He is here and he is here to stay."

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