13 Jul 2011

Woodward urges RFU to look ahead

10:36 am on 13 July 2011

Sir Clive Woodward has urged the Rugby Football Union to direct all its energies into supporting England's World Cup campaign amidst a backdrop of administrative chaos.

The RFU, England's national governing body, currently has no permanent chairman or chief executive just nine weeks before the World Cup gets underway in New Zealand as a result of its botched plan to hire a performance director.

Former chief executive John Steele was forced out last month after changing the job description for the new, and still unfilled, position of performance director in May, stripping the role of any responsibility for England's senior Test team.

That was seen as a deliberate snub to Woodward, strongly tipped for the role, by making the post seemingly unworthy of the 2003 England World Cup-winning coach and other high-profile candidates.

Yet 48 hours later another U-turn saw the initial terms of the job re-instated.

Martyn Thomas quit as RFU chairman on Sunday after reportedly being criticised in a review of the fiasco by Judge Jeff Blackett, the Union's chief disciplinary officer. But Thomas remains as acting chief executive.

Woodward says for the sake of rugby they've got to move on quickly now.

He says thanks goodness we've got a Rugby World Cup coming up and we can all focus on what happens on the pitch.