Robinson survives but RFU clears out England back-room

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The Independent Online

England's shop-soiled Test side are still not sure of the shape of their coaching team for the demanding trip to Australia in June, but they know who will not be with them - and there are plenty who fall into that category. Andy Robinson, the head coach, has survived, if not wholly intact, but all three of his senior back-room staff have paid for this season's Six Nations failure.

The defence coach, Phil Larder, and the kicking specialist, Dave Alred, have lost their jobs after the Rugby Football Union inquest. Joe Lydon, the attacking strategist, has also been dropped from the élite set-up. Brian Ashton of Bath and the ex-Leicester coach John Wells are likely replacements.

The RFU will also recruit a director of élite rugby - Sir Clive Woodward and the former Springbok coach Nick Mallett are favourites - who will have an input into selection, a move that will dilute Robinson's influence.

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