Rugby suits meet to try and put an end to England farce

The Rugby Football Unions (RFU) board and council will both gather this week and for once the machinations of Twickenhams besuited committee men will be eagerly-awaited by fans desperate to see signs of leadership. With the RFU still searching for a new CEO ami

d relentless criticism of its structures and with the England team in need of a new coach and captain only two months from the st

art of the Six Nations championship, it is no exaggerati

on to say the worlds biggest and richest union is in meltdown. Barely a day has passed since the World Cup without some development in what has become one of sports longest-running farces. On Monday alone Mike Tindall was reinstated into the elite player squad and had his fine reduced for his antics in New Zealand and Nick Mallett ruled himself out, then back in again as a potential replacement for head coach Martin Johnson. Brian Ashton, sacked by the RFU after taking Engl

and to the 2007 World Cup final, was also being touted as a possible caretaker to lead the team through the Six Nations. Mallett, the former South Africa and Italy coach, made it clear that he would only conside

r the post if there were major changes to the way things are done at Twickenham and said he felt there was no need at all for the director of elite rugby role that Rob Andrew currently fills. Andrew last week accepted full responsibility for Englands poor World Cup campaign

but said he had no inten2020管家婆四肖期期准 tion of resigning over the matter. Controversially, Andrew will sit in judgement next week when the Professional Game Board (PGB) delivers its review of Englands World Cup campaign, despite the fact that his own role could come in for h

eavy criticism. Andrews long-running behind-the-scenes power battles have generally held little interest for the average fan but

with English rugby considered something of a laughing stock, the developments of the next few days and weeks will be seen as the vital first steps towards rebuilding its reputation. The RFU has s

aid it is in no rush to replace Martyn Thomas after he was forced to stand down as chairman and acting CEO - itself a stop-gap arrangement after John Steele was forced out in June following the debacle of the advertising of the elite performance director job that Andrew seems to have slipped back into. Previous CEO Francis Baron, who stood down in February after 12 years, has been touted as another stop-gap replacement while the RFU addresses all the issues of governance and control that yet another

review has examined. One of its chief recommendations is a drastic reduction in numbers in the RFU Council, something that very council will be asked to approve when it meets on Thursday. Hovering above all the meetings and reviews are last weeks shocking revelations by the players, whose leaked confidential opinions painted a damning picture of the whole senior set-up. Attack coach Brian Smith resigned in the wake of particularly biting criticism and it is hard to see how forwards coach John Wells and defence coach Mike Ford could be part of a new era knowing that so many players held such a low opinion of their abilities. Mallett and New Zealander Wayne Smith have said they might be interested in taking over the top job after the Six Nations, which begins for England with a testing trip to Scotland on Feb. 4. John Kirwan, Eddie Jones, Jake White and even Graham Henry, despite his protestations, are also in the mix to potentially become Englands first overseas coach. With the 2015 World Cup on home soil and the t

eam in such disarray it appears something of a dream opportunity. Its not a disadvantage to take over a team that the coach and director of rugby have both said are at rock bottom, Mallett said on Monday. Patiently goi

ng about his business at Northampton

, however, is bookmakers favourite Jim Mallender. The former England fullback looks to have the perf

ect CV for the role

having cut his teeth impressively at Sale, done a brilliant job with Northampton and shown his aptitude for international matters by leading Englands second-string Saxons side to 15 wins from 16 games.