England’s World Cup strategy won’t change

Rob Andrew has insisted that England’s 2011 Rugby World cup plans will not be de-railed by the managerial changes currently taking place at Twickenham.

The RFU plan to do away with Andrew’s position as director of elite rugby and he has been encouraged to apply for the new position of rugby operations director.

The change comes after an extensive review by new Rugby Football Union chief executive John Steele who is making wholesale changes to English rugby.

As part of the changes responsibility for the England Rugby team will change from Andrew to the new performance director.

As the changes are being implemented Andrew has insisted that he is happy to stay involved with the England rugby team and says he sat in at selection meetings ahead of the Six Nations squad announcement.

“I have a job to do now and I am doing that job. We will go where we go in the future.” Andrew said.

“The important thing for now is that everybody at the RFU is 100 percent behind (England team manager) Martin (Johnson),” he added.

“We are planning meticulously around the start of the Six Nations.”

“We know what the plan is through the summer, through the training camp and to the World Cup in September. That is all we are focusing on.”

England’s world cup winning captain Martin Johnson has a contract as England team manager until after the Rugby World Cup and Andrew has confirmed that Johnson will be unaffected by the reshuffle.

“The strategy for Martin is that he is taking this team to the World Cup. He will take the coaches he wants to take and he is building a squad,” Andrew told PA Sport.

“Everybody can see the squad is developing nicely.”

Andrew has been blamed for much of England’s problems but he was very successful in brokering a deal between the Premiership clubs and the RFU over access to England players and the development of young English players.

“We have some very good players coming through the system,” Andrew told the BBC.

“Joe Simpson has pushed into the senior squad. Joe Marler and James Gaskell, who were the outstanding players in the under-20s for the last two years, have come into the Saxons.

“The pipeline is the strongest it has ever been.”

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