Ford exits RFU on 'good terms'
December 16, 2011
Mike Ford is expected to announce his departure from the RFU on Friday © Getty Images
England defence coach Mike Ford is expected to officially leave the Rugby Football Union on Friday, according to reports.
The Daily Telegraph claims that Ford and the Rugby Football Union have agreed terms to conclude his five and a half year tenure with England. Ford was criticised in the leaked reports printed in The Times and following Martin Johnson's departure, his position within the coaching setup looked increasingly unstable. And with the announcement of England's interim coaching team last week, Ford's time with the national side seemed to be up.
But the former Saracens and Ireland coach is adamant he leaves the RFU on good terms. "I have got no regrets and bear no hard feelings towards the RFU," Ford told The Daily Telegraph. "I hope England go out and win the Six Nations. I have spoken to Stuart and Andy Farrell to offer up information I have on Scotland from the World Cup if they would like to sit down and talk.
"They have said they will and I hope they do well. They have a good opportunity to start afresh. It is a watershed now for England. You still need some experience in there, and I think we can win the Six Nations. but my advice to Stuart would be to blood some new kids. International level is three or four levels above the Premiership. The management need to identify and develop players who they think will reach that level by the 2015 World Cup."
And following the high profile leaks, Ford admits he would have preferred the players to have spoken to him face-to-face rather than through the anonymous reports.
"I have had time to reflect on what happened and I am disappointed at the way it has all ended," Ford said. "I didn't see it at first but, once Johnno went, after about two weeks I realised it was going to be very difficult for me to carry on without him being there because of the leaks, which were disappointing."
"I was disappointed that they didn't feel they could come face to face with me and discuss the issues during the World Cup. That's what disappointed me the most. I felt we had an environment where people could do that.
"For a few days I went through all sorts of emotions: embarrassment, anger and vengeance. I thought I had a relationship with nearly all of the players where they trusted me and could say things to me. If you look at what they said, it was petty and not worth reporting about. When I look back and ask myself, 'could I have worked any harder during the World Cup?', I think I couldn't have."
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