Stand by for further RFU inaction

Rob Andrew will present his Six Nations review to the RFU blazers today, presumably with recommendations on how to proceed and take England Rugby forward.

There has been speculation that Brian Ashton could be removed, with Martin Johnson taking control and appointing his own coaching team that he’d be happy to work with.

However, I have a suspicion that Andrew will conclude that second place in the Six Nations is the best result since 2003, several players won their first cap demonstrating progress from 2007, and that he sees no reason to remove Ashton before the end of the year.

The worst case scenario would be somewhere in the middle, whereby immediate action is called for but they only sack the chef or the kit man and thus not really changing anything.

What are your thoughts? What would be the best result from the latest RFU review?

12 thoughts on “Stand by for further RFU inaction

  1. I think you called it right Stuart. The delectable combination of an old-school RFU culture and a director adept at avoiding conflict and radical action that could open him up to personal criticism. It doesn’t help seeing the lame comments of current players (hedging their bets) and Dean Richards, claiming that BA deserves to stay since we came 2nd blah blah blah…

    I still think that having Johnno as manager would be an odd choice, as would giving Austin Healey a role (although I’m glad to say the latter does seem to be nothing more than press speculation).

    To answer your final question directly Stuart – best result at this stage: RA – fired, BA – fired, Other coaching staff – garden leave, SCW – new main man (let’s not use that stupid “elite” title), Shaun Edwards (or whoever SCW picks) – head coach

  2. Nice call Matt, but I am afraid Stuart is correct – lots of …… inaction ….. on the cards. Let’s face it – short of a total massacre of the England team in a match we won’t see anything happen.

    Oh I forgot – we already had that against South Africa in the World Cup. Well then – no change for the next 10 years……I’m off to enroll on a Welsh language course.

  3. The whole situation is just infuriating. A part of me wanted England to lose to Ireland to make sure a meaningless victory didn’t paper over the cracks, but the RFU statement did indeed congratulate the team on the 2nd place finish.

    It then referred to the success of the Saxons and the Ladies teams as if that would be able to convince everyone what a wonderful organisation the RFU really is.

    Andrew should go, Ashton should go, but what about the old farts that still seem to march up and down the corridors of Rugby House?

  4. Let’s remind ourselves of the teams below us in the final table shall we? (a) France, with their way out experimentation and selection of very young players in key positions, (b) Ireland who were so poor that they sacked their coach at the end of the campaign, (c) Scotland who took three games to figure out what that line is that goes under the posts and (d) Italy, who conceded two tries to said Jocks and had the worst defence in the tournament.

    As I see it we should be ashamed of the fact we only scraped second place on points difference, let alone celebrate it.

    And as for the World Cup, saying that Ashton coached us to second place is a bit like saying that Sir Steve Redgrave won his fifth gold thanks to diabetes.

    Like Redgrave, England had a painful irritant which pushed them to work harder than ever and they achieved beyond most people’s expectations. Granted, Ashton can be said to have been the catalyst for our success as without him there winding the players up with his incompetence, we would not have got as far as we did, but it’s hardly a blueprint for future success is it? More a case of relative success by luck, not judgement.

    There are a lot of seemingly ridiculous suggestions out there as to who should be involved in the England set-up, but all it takes is a look at the current set-up and none of them seem quite so ridiculous!

    If anyone from the RFU is reading this, if ever Rob Andrew does leave and you want someone else to procrastinate, bluff, write meaningless reports and make excuses for the coaching team, I am more than happy to offer my services for far less than his £400k salary.

  5. It’s a very English trait I’m afraid….resist change until it is inevitable. And the RFU is about as old school English as it gets. Let’s wait to see what happens at the next RWC, no need to rush into any hasty decisions.
    What I really find bewildering is how the pundits and journo’s seem, on balance, to be in support of Ashton too. I’m sick of hearing the talk of the “second places”. Did you watch the games, chaps?
    Does RA really make 400k?! That is outrageous. In light of the comments in the press release, I think the logical conclusion is for RA and BA to take over the woman’s team.

  6. Yes, according to Ackford in the Telegraph, RA’s salary is £400k. I wish it was a typo but it’s not.

  7. I just cannot believe that they cannot see that the problem is all in the structure. Of course Ashton doesn’t want a manager to have a say in the team but that is frankly unworkable. If he can’t manage the team then he cannot be in his current role and that is the end of it. I still think he’s a good attack coach and could be retained as part of the coaching team but it is clear that he does not have the skills to be anything more than just ‘one of the team’. The new man has to have control.

    You can’t just keep grafting new roles and new people on top with no coherence, none of whom actually want to work together. It staggers me that they can’t seem to figure this out.
    Who gives a stuff about hurting people’s feelings or that it would be expensive to get rid of the current team. Andrew etc have a duty to all England supporters to get this right. His sole job is to give England the best chance of winning with the right structure and the right people. That’s it. He’s had 2 stabs already. 3 strikes and you’re out Rob, what have you got?

  8. Don’t know about you guys, but if I don’t do my job I fully expect my boss to step in – that’s just how life is! The best way to stop this happening is to do your job and get good results, or at least string together some performances which bode well for the future. You earn freedom and empowerment, you can’t just demand it from a boss before they’ve even been appointed, especially when you’re not in the best of bargaining positions.

    It’ll be interesting to see whether Ashton is still any part of the set-up as and when he ceases to be head coach. There’s no doubt he’s been a great attack coach in the past but he’ll have picked up some emotional baggage in his time as head coach (largely of his own making) and I just wonder if he could just slot back in as attack coach.

    Still, I don’t expect anything will happen in a hurry – after all the 2027 World Cup is only 19 years away and we don’t want to disrupt our plans for that do we?

  9. Rob – you seem to be spending a lot of time on this web site when you should be working. You’re fired.

  10. Hang on a minute chaps. No need for drastic action here. For example, maybe Rob needs a manager to take care of his administrative functions. I will be reviewing this situation in more detail and presenting my findings to the board for approval. I’ll let you know when we have a decision – should be within the next four years.

  11. Uncle Mat – “I think the logical conclusion is for RA and BA to take over the woman’s team.” – my God, are you trying to reduce our successful squads to the level of the England 1st XV?? You crazy fool….

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