Rugby Football Union has hit rock bottom - Rob Andrew

Media playback is not supported on this device

Andrew apologises for World Cup

Rob Andrew admits English rugby has hit "rock bottom" following the leak of reports into their World Cup failure.

The Rugby Football Union's elite rugby director accepted responsibility for his part in the campaign but reiterated he would not resign.

Andrew told BBC Sport: "I am absolutely shattered by what is going on both on and off the field.

"The RFU has to sort itself out. This is rock bottom, the lowest of the low, and it can't be allowed to continue."

Andrew added: "The reality of my job is that I'm not the England team manager. I'm the elite rugby director and I run a big department.

"But I absolutely accept responsibility for what is going on here.

"Does it mean I'm going to resign? No I'm not. Does it mean it's all broken? No it doesn't.

"I am part of the RFU and people have to judge the department on how it is being run. The [RFU management] board will judge me.

"There are some big decisions to make over the next few weeks. We need a new chief executive, and a new head coach."

Andrew admitted that with hindsight he could have taken a more prominent role in assisting manager Martin Johnson - who resigned last week - when disciplinary issues on and off the field arose in New Zealand.

"The World Cup was not what it should have been," he noted. "The players have let themselves down, the coaches have maybe not done as good a job as they should, I've not done as good a job as I should have done.

"I should have supported Martin [Johnson] more and we should have done better.

"It is unacceptable some of the stuff that has gone on but we haven't had a bad 12 months. We had a bad World Cup but we are not a hopeless case in terms of the players coming through. We know what the squad will be for the Six Nations. We have a very talented young squad and it is very exciting."

The RFU is set to appoint an independent investigator to see who leaked the damning reports on England's failed World Cup campaign, one of which was based on anonymous interviews given by England's World Cup players.

"It is not a fair reflection on the players, on Martin or the coaches, or the game up and down the country," added Andrew, who said he was "disgusted" by the breach of confidence.

"It's being taken apart almost deliberately by somebody. It must be stopped now.

"I wish I knew who it was [who leaked the information]. We've got to find out because it's just not right.

"We were dealing with some confidential information which we asked the players to give us in good faith.

"Then we have a responsibility to sift through it. You have a responsibility when you have that information to use it properly.

"A line in the sand has to be drawn for the good of the game, the next England coach and the next England captain. It is sullying the game we all love."

Andrew will make his own recommendations to the RFU management board next week on whether England should appoint a new head coach or manager, but not the identity of that individual.

"I have got Plan A, B and C but we have to get the appointment right for the long term," he added. "Personally I would prefer him to be English but it has to be the best guy to take us forward to 2015."

For the latest updates and reaction to this story read Sportsday Live. Have your say on Twitter via the hashtag #bbcsportsday.

Top Stories