A week on from the anarchy created by the release of selected quotes from the post World Cup reports, the RFU Council will meet today to clear up two key issues, as well as hear the complete recommendations from the RPA, Premiership Rugby and RFU reports on how to proceed with the set up of the English game.
Furthermore, and arguably most importantly in the eyes of the English supporting public, the Council will decide on an intermin coach to lead England during the Six Nations, so that the proper and most thorough of searches can be carried out to find the suitable long term man for the job. Or in other words, begin the initial stages of persuading Nick Mallett that England is the place for him to be over the next four years and perhaps beyond.
Mallett admitted on Monday that the England job was one of the top five jobs in the game, that any coach with ambition would want to take it on. For the mean time, a combination of Stuart Lancaster and Graham Rowntree, or the return of Brian Ashton, are the likely options for the short-term, or perhaps all three of them together. The idea of Rob Andrew shaking Ashton’s hand at the door with a smile and a ‘welcome back’ is nothing short of amusing, given the way he dismissed him following the 2007 Rugby World Cup.
Which brings us on to the next issue for the board. Andrew’s future can only be decided through a vote of no confidence, which given the general reaction to his actions over the last fortnight and previously does not bode so well for the former England fly-half. He arguably has performed 80% of his job to a good standard (U18s, U20s, and finance and beyond) but the 20% that people really care about is the senior side, and that is the area where with three coaches during his 8 year reign and one Six Nations title to boot, he has failed.
All in all, English rugby could look rather different come tomorrow night, perhaps for the better. Our advice? Don’t expect miracles.