RUGBY : Rob Andrew has reiterated his belief that England have made progress this autumn – especially in the context of their European rivals’ performances.
Rob Andrew has reiterated his belief that England have made progress this autumn – especially in the context of their European rivals’ performances.
England slumped to defeats by Australia and New Zealand and fought out an uninspiring victory over Argentina, placing manager Martin Johnson and his coaching team under intense scrutiny. But Andrew, the Rugby Football Union’s director of elite rugby, insists there has been marked progress since last November when the Tri-Nations teams rampaged through Twickenham.
“Clearly we have to improve the try-scoring record, but defensively, in our discipline and set-piece, we’re a massive step up from last autumn,” said Andrew. “You have to put things into context of injuries and the laws. Also look at Argentina beating Scotland, Wales and France losing badly – you have to put into context what’s been happening.”
Meanwhile, the RFU will be begin their search for the successor to chief executive Francis Baron in January.
Baron will step down in July satisfied with what he has achieved since becoming Twickenham’s first chief executive in 1998.
“The balance sheet over the 11 years has been pretty good. I’m mostly proud of the health of the game,” he said.
“We have a growing game at all levels, financially have a strong balance sheet and have a great stadium now.”