Sat, Aug 19, 2006 - Page 20 News List

Rob Andrew named as England's first elite rugby director

AP , LONDON

The Rugby Football Union yesterday appointed Rob Andrew as England's first elite director of rugby.

The former England flyhalf will oversee the development of all players for England's national team, from under-18's through to the senior team. The post was created in April after a review of England's coaching set up following a disappointing Six Nations tournament.

Clive Woodward, who coached England to the 2003 World Cup, was also in contention for the role but his acrimonious departure in 2004 -- when he criticized the RFU and the clubs for hampering England's ability to compete with powers such as New Zealand and Australia -- is likely to have counted against him.

"Rob is the best person for the job and the fact that he came through a very competitive field, with some superb candidates competing for the role says much about the way he impressed ... with his vision and ideas," chief executive Francis Baron said.

Andrew leaves his position as director of rugby with Newcastle after 11 years with the northeast club, where he is credited with the discovery and mentoring of England's record scorer Jonny Wilkinson.

Andrew played 71 times for England, featuring in two World Cups, and two tours with the British and Irish Lions. He was England's record scorer with 396 before Wilkinson eclipsed him in 2001.

Newcastle appointed former England A center John Fletcher as director of rugby to replace Andrew.

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