Rob Andrew MBE, Professional Rugby Director
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Rob Andrew was appointed Rugby Operations Director in April 2011, having spent five years as the RFU’s Elite Rugby Director, playing a major part in the RFU’s development and, in particular, a key role in reaching an eight year agreement between the RFU and Premier Rugby Ltd, which ensured closer communication between the two parties and the England Senior EPS squad having more time training and preparing prior to major matches throughout the season.
He continues to manage that agreement and relationship, maintaining a positive and balanced approach to the needs of the clubs and the national team.
In his Rugby Operations Director role in the lead up to RWC 2015 he works collaboratively to optimise competition structures, including working with the IRB,ERC,PRL and The Championship; player, coaching and referee development; sports medicine and sports science; and research and innovation and managing the RFU’s relationship with the RPA and Championship clubs.
One of this country’s best known rugby administrators and consummate internationals, Rob cut his playing teeth at Barnard Castle School, Co Durham, before becoming a double Blue in rugby and cricket at Cambridge University where he gained a Master of Arts Degree that helped him in his later commercial life as an Associate Director of real estate advisers DTZ Debenham Thorpe.
Having joined Nottingham RFC before moving to Wasps he made his England debut in January 1985 against Romania dropping a goal after just 50 seconds. It was against Romania, four years later, that he first captained his country in Bucharest winning 58-3. That year he was also called up to the British & Irish Lions tour of Australia where he played in two Tests and, later in the year, also captained the Lions in a non-cap game against France.
As fly half for England he played a pivotal role in their back-to-back Grand Slams of 1991 and 1992 and was also in the side beaten by Australia, 12-6, in the 1991 final of the IRB World Cup at Twickenham. The following year he played a season with Toulouse before returning to Wasps and in 1993 featured in all three Tests on the Lions tour to New Zealand. Having equalled Didier Camberabero’s then world record with 30 points in the 1994 win over Canada he then played in every international during 1995 as England notched their third Five Nations Grand Slam in five years and reached the semi-finals of the World Cup in South Africa.
That year he was awarded the MBE, having retired from international rugby and also agreed to join Newcastle as playing rugby development director. He came out of international retirement in 1997, coming on as replacement in England’s March win over Wales. That year Newcastle Falcons won promotion into the Premiership and then won the title at their first attempt in 1998. Under Rob’s guidance Falcons also beat Harlequins and Sale Sharks respectively in two RFU Knock Out Cup Finals. After 10 years at Newcastle Falcons, Rob Andrew joined the RFU in September 2006.