Crisis-hit Rugby Football Union to undergo reform

Rugby Football Union
The RFU is without a permanent chairman or chief executive

Sports minister Hugh Robertson says the Rugby Football Union plans to bring in independent directors and set up an external review of the organisation.

The RFU is enduring an administrative crisis but Robertson complemented the work of acting chairman Paul Murphy.

"I have been impressed by the positive attitude taken by the RFU to putting things right," he said.

"They are going to have an independent review and are looking to appoint non-executive independent directors."

Robertson said he welcomed both steps "enormously" but warned that time was of the essence with the World Cup starting on 9 September and England then taking over as hosts of the following tournament.

"There is a need for this to happen quickly," he added. "There is a Rugby World Cup coming up and in less than two months England have to assume responsibility for hosting the tournament in 2015."

The RFU is without a permanent chairman or chief executive after a meltdown in the management of the governing body over the appointment of a new performance director.

The infighting between rival factions saw John Steele ousted as chief executive and that was followed by Martyn Thomas quitting as chairman - although he has been kept on as acting chief executive.