Nigel Melville to apply for RFU chief executive role

Nigel Melville in his Gloucester coaching days
Melville coached Wasps and Gloucester to domestic silverware

Former England captain Nigel Melville is to apply to be the Rugby Football Union's next chief executive.

The RFU is looking for a replacement for John Steele, who was ousted on Friday following a chaotic search for a new elite performance director.

Melville, who has coached Gloucester and Wasps, is currently president and chief executive of USA Rugby.

He wrote on Twitter:external-link "I will apply for the ceo job, it's what I have been doing for the last four years."

The 50-year-old, whose playing career was blighted by a series of neck, shoulder, knee and ankle injuries, sent the message to RFU council member Andrew Sarek.

Melville, who has been in his role with USA Rugby since October 2006, had been on the RFU's early shortlist for the performance director position but withdrew from the running after deciding it was destined for Sir Clive Woodward.

"For the record they spoke to me, was on the short list, withdrew when I heard it was SCW's - so why bother.." Melville wrote in another message on Twitter.

World Cup-winning coach Woodward subsequently walked away from the recruitment process following the RFU's indecision about whether the job would include influence over the England team - which in turn led to the end of Steele's nine-month reign.

Simon Halliday, a former RFU councillor, and Malcolm Wall, who was beaten to the post by Steele, have also been mentioned as potential candidates for the job.