RFU vow to get ‘the best possible coach’ at any price for England

RFU Chairman Bill Beaumont and CEO Ian Ritchie

England’s Rugby Football Union Chief Executive Ian Ritchie has said that his organisation will not be inhibited by financially in the search for “the best possible coach”.

Ritchie was speaking at a press conference following the announcement that England Head Coach Stuart Lancaster was stepping down with immediate effect.

The RFU CEO added that Lancaster was making a clean break and leaving the RFU completely but his former assistants, Andy Farrell, Mike Catt and Graham Rowntree are still employed by the Union.

Ritchie did however warn that Lancaster’s assistants face an uncertain future as their long term positions will depend on whether the new coach wants to keep them on.

Ritchie and RFU Chairman Bill Beaumont made it absolutely clear that the RFU will be going after the best possible coach to replace Lancaster.

The Rugby Football Union are expected to pocket at least £40 million pound in profit from hosting the Rugby World Cup which means Rugby’s richest Union have a serious warchest to dip into for the new coach search.

Ritchie said that they would not rush into making a new appointment but that they new coach will have proven international experience.

“You need to get the best possible coach, this is not a matter of financial considerations,” Ritchie told Sky.

“We are looking for an international coach with international experience and proven ability,” he added.

Ritchie also suggested that England could for the first time appoint a foreign coach.

“We will take it one step at a time. We will be looking for a coach without inhibition – the nationality is not important, getting the right coach is.”

“I think the most important thing is to get the right person. It is very important we get a person of proven international experience.”

Ritchie said that they had not yet started contacted anyone when asked if they had made contact with Australian coach Michael Cheika.

“We have not contacted anyone. There has been no communication with Michael Chieka. I will go back to the board with a recommendation. ”

“There is not an advisory group on this, but I will talk to a number of people within the game on the appointment,” said Ritchie.

RFU chairman Bill Beaumont said that they will scour the globe to find the right coach for England.

“The process of finding a new coach began at the end of yesterday’s board meeting. We will search globally to find a new coach.”

“We cannot dictate on who they want to bring in as an assistant coach,” said Beaumont.

Possible candidates for the England head coach position include : Jake White, Eddie Jones, Wayne Smith, Nick Mallett, Michael Cheika, Steve Hansen, Warren Gatland, Joe Schmidt, Vern Cotter and Robbie Deans

Sir Clive Woodward would be a contender but he has made it clear that he is not interested in being head coach but would return as a Director of Rugby role.

England meet Scotland in the Six Nations in just over eight weeks.

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