RFU management changes approved

Rugby Football Union chief executive John Steele has been given the go-ahead to make significant changes to the organisation's senior management structure.

Steele launched a comprehensive review of the RFU when he took over at Twickenham four months ago and today presented his findings to the board of directors at a meeting in Birmingham.



The former UK Sport boss set out to strengthen the RFU in preparation for hosting the 2015 Rugby World Cup and his recommendations were unanimously approved.



The RFU will not confirm any details of the changes until tomorrow afternoon, giving Steele a chance to speak to staff directly.

Rob Andrew's position as England's elite rugby director is one of those to have come under the microscope. Andrew is not expected to leave the RFU but it is likely his role will be redefined.

Steele's plan is understood to include the creation of a performance director post within the elite department, although the exact details of that position remained under wraps tonight.



"I am delighted that the board unanimously accepted my recommendations for change," Steele said



"We have a hugely exciting five years ahead of us and I want to make sure we are in the best possible shape to the seize the opportunity a home World Cup gives us to grow and develop the game from the grassroots to the elite level.



"The changes we agreed will deliver a simpler management structure with clearer leadership and are changes that are right for rugby and right for the RFU.



"We will announce these in more detail tomorrow but until then our first priority is to talk staff through the recommendations and the next steps."



Sir Clive Woodward, England's 2003 World Cup-winning coach, has been linked with a return to the RFU as part of the shake-up.



Woodward is currently employed as elite performance director at the British Olympic Association.



The recommendations have not impacted on Martin Johnson and the England coaching team, who will remain in place as previously stated until at least the World Cup later this year.



But there has been speculation the new structure could see Johnson reporting directly to Steele, the former Northampton fly-half and coach.



Those changes would fit with Steele's plan to streamline the management structure and place rugby back at the heart of the RFU's remit.



Steele's predecessor Francis Baron transformed the union's finances but the focus of Steele's tenure is maximise the benefits of hosting the 2015 World Cup to develop rugby in England.



A successful England team is central to that.

Former England captain Lawrence Dallaglio tonight backed Steele's plans to shake up the RFU's executive structure to give England the best chance of success on home soil in 2015.

"It is important that we strive to improve all the time on and off the field. England at this moment in time have a very successful structure from the bottom up but not from the top down," Dallaglio said.



"With the Rugby World Cup in 2015 (in England), clearly the onus is now going to shift back towards the top end of the game and the team.



"We live in a business of high performance and in sport, whether you are on or off the field, it is a results-driven business and it is a game that constantly reviews itself and looks for ways to improve," Dallaglio said.



"That can sometimes mean changing people.



"I am sure John has come in with a fresh pair of eyes and a fresh pair of ears, he is a rugby man who has played the game and administered the game as well as being an administrator with UK Sport so he does understand the game."



Woodward applied for the elite rugby director position in 2006 and lost out to Andrew so Dallaglio was not surprised to hear his name linked with the RFU again.



"As I understand it, Clive was in the frame when Rob Andrew was appointed in the first place so naturally if positions are reviewed then his name comes back into the frame," Dallaglio said.



"Clive has not been out of coaching and is still very much involved so I think his skills are perfectly transferable to rugby.



"Once rugby is in your blood is in your blood, it takes a lot to get it out of your blood.



"As far as I am aware, Clive has a role which he is committed to seeing out."







News
Russell Brand was in typically combative form during his promotional interview with Newsnight's Evan Davis
peopleReports that Brand could stand for Mayor on an 'anti-politics' ticket
News
The clocks go forward an hour at 1am on Sunday 30 March
news
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor finds himself in a forest version of London in Doctor Who episode 'In the Forest of the Night'
TVReview: Is the Doctor ever going stop frowning? Apparently not.
News
Voluminous silk drawers were worn by Queen Victoria
newsThe silk underwear is part of a growing trade in celebrity smalls
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
footballMatch report: Real fight back to ruin Argentinian's debut
News
Candidates with surnames that start with an A have an electoral advantage
newsVoters are biased towards names with letters near start of alphabet
Arts and Entertainment
Isis with Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville)
TV
News
Rainbow List
Arts and Entertainment
Jay James
TVMost of the performances were stale and cheesier than a chunk of Blue Stilton left out for a month
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker