Andrew refuses to fall on sword
November 24, 2011
Andrew came in for criticism following Johnson's resignation © Getty Images
Rob Andrew will not resign from his post with the Rugby Football Union and argues that the quotes printed by The Times were selective and not indicative of the mood in the whole camp.
Andrew, the RFU's director of elite rugby, has come under increasing pressure from outside Twickenham to quit his post. England manager Martin Johnson resigned last week, while England attack Brian Smith has now followed suit and also stepped down. But Andrew has told BBC Sport that he has no intention of ending his Twickenham tenure.
The former England international said: "The reality of my job is that I am not the England team manager. I am the elite rugby director and I run a big department. But I absolutely accept responsibility for what is going on here.
"Does it mean I'm going to resign? No I'm not. Does it mean it's all broken? No it doesn't."
However, when asked on Sky Sports News if he had thought about stepping down, Andrew replied. "Of course I've considered my position. There's been soul-searching the whole time, it's been a pretty tough 12 months for everybody here, there's a lot of stuff going on that shouldn't have been.
"I don't have to resign. Other people may have that point of view if they want but there are lots of things going on here. I run a big department and I have to find a new head coach."
The RFU yesterday launched an investigation into the leaking of three confidential and damning reports into England's World Cup campaign, with Andrew describing the leak as "disgusting". Detailed contents from the reviews undertaken by the RFU, the Rugby Players' Association and the Aviva Premiership clubs appeared across eight pages of a national newspaper.
The reports contain quotes from Andrew and unnamed players which paint the picture of a disunited squad, riven by a lack of trust under the leadership of a management team out of their depth. Some players are accused, both by Andrew and their team-mates, of being more concerned with their earning potential than their rugby.
The RFU's disciplinary chief Judge Jeff Blackett is set to appoint an independent investigator to take charge of the inquiry and deliver his findings within two weeks.
Andrew added: "I am absolutely shattered by what is going on both on and off the field. The RFU has to sort itself out, this is rock bottom, the lowest of the low, and it can't be allowed to continue."
Andrew insists he does not know who leaked the reports, adding on Sky Sports News: "It is quite despicable. Whoever's leaked it, I hope they're found and action is taken. The review process has been betrayed and that's unacceptable.
"But you have to put the comments in context. When you get anonymous information like this, you have a huge responsibility to deal with that information correctly because you are putting peoples' reputations and lives at risk here. Players gave those views on the understanding they would be strictly anonymous.
"You're always going to have extreme views around coaches and preparation. That's not to say that we don't take notice of them - but it shouldn't have been played out in the public domain.
"People are really upset about the performances on field but it's also the lowest of low to leak this sort of information. We have to deal with that information and put it right. We have to find a solution to this.
"It'll be up to other people to decide what happens over this. Things have happened which shouldn't have happened."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"The only thing that will stop this England team from becoming a great team is themselves. They need to ask themselves 'what can we be?'" The Phil Vickery column
The latest Monday Maul looks at the hectic final weekend, the Lions hangover, the superb Mike Brown and the 'selfie'
"At the crux of this England team is a lack of fear, they are not afraid to throw playbooks out of the window." Tom Hamilton reports from Twickenham
"These little deft touches, the nuances O'Driscoll has perfected are what Ireland will miss most." Tom Hamilton on Brian O'Driscoll's final Test in Dublin