England to have caretaker coach for Six Nations

Ben Youngs (centre) and England team-mates after their Rugby World Cup defeat by France
England were beaten 19-12 by France in the quarter-finals of the World Cup

England will have an interim coach for the Six Nations with the aim of appointing a permanent boss for the summer tour of South Africa.

A new role of senior team manager will also be created to handle the national side's non-playing matters.

The Rugby Football Union hopes to appoint a new chief executive by the turn of the year, who will then oversee the recruitment of the new coach.

Rob Andrew will be formally appointed as professional rugby director.

He will have responsibilities for all professional rugby department operations, including agreements with the Premiership clubs, tournaments and competitions and England representative teams, but not the senior side.

Ian Metcalfe, chairman of the RFU's Professional Game Board, said Andrew's new position, his fourth job title in the last four years, was not a demotion.

"One of the ways we failed Rob is not explaining the breadth of what he is trying to do," Metcalfe added. "He has a significant contribution to continue to make."

The RFU hopes to appoint a head coach with appropriate experience in time for the three-Test tour of South Africa in June 2012.

The interim and permanent head coach will report to the new chief executive and board of directors.

The RFU said the support structures around the England team will be re-evaluated, including the appointment of a senior team manager - similar to the role performed by Darren Shand with New Zealand, and Alan Phillips with Wales - to handle all non-playing matters.

Additional support structures to be implemented will include:

  • Stricter parameters over the presence of agents in the international camp
  • Consideration of security resources on tour
  • A leadership group of players with a cross-section of age and experience
  • An independent review of the RFU's Elite Rugby Department
  • A full and co-ordinated schedule of visits to Premiership clubs by the national coaching group
  • A full review of senior England team medical and sports science processes and protocols
  • Improved communication between the players, the RPA and the RFU commercial department on planned commercial activities.

RFU acting chief executive Stephen Brown, who apologised to fans for England's World Cup performance and "other surrounding events", said: "We underperformed at the World Cup and there were events throughout the tournament that were not acceptable.

"We are determined to address the cause of those issues and will ensure that they are not repeated.

"We believe that the actions approved today will in the long term help the England team and elite rugby in this country move forward to where we all want it to be."

Metcalfe said: "I am sure that everybody shares a real determination that we should recruit the very best man for the head coach's job, that we should take the time needed to do that, and that the support structures around that person and the squad are world class."

Martin Johnson resigned as England manager after a troubled World Cup campaign in New Zealand, which saw his team beaten by France in the quarter-finals and involved in a string of off-field controversies.

Former Italy and South Africa coach Mallett said he would only consider the England role after the Six Nations, while Northampton director of rugby Jim Mallinder and former Italy and Japan coach John Kirwan have declared an interest in the job.

Other candidates are Jake White and Eddie Jones, who jointly coached South Africa to win the 2007 World Cup.

On Tuesday, acting RFU chief executive Martyn Thomas - who had previously announced his intention to leave the RFU on 16 December - vacated the role with immediate effect, with Brown filling the vacancy on a temporary basis.

Former England coach Sir Clive Woodward, who led the side to World Cup success in 2003, said recently that the RFU should wait until a new chief executive is in place before making a decision on a new coach.

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