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RFU Statement

31 October 2007

31 October 2007

The RFU Management Board, at its regular monthly meeting today congratulated England Head Coach, Brian Ashton, the England Rugby World Cup squad and its coaching and management team for an excellent RWC campaign and defence of the Webb Ellis Cup won in 2003. The RFU and the whole game in England are rightfully proud of their fine, collective performance.

The review of England's RWC performance is well underway and all 32 RWC squad players and members of the coaching and management team will have an input. Rob Andrew, the RFU Elite Rugby Director, will update the Management Board on the Review at its regular monthly meeting on 26 November 2007.

The RFU Management Board also discussed the recent newspaper serialisation of books written by Lawrence Dallaglio and Mike Catt and the associated publicity.

The Board recorded its extreme disappointment that two senior players have chosen to criticise publicly members of the England coaching team and disclosed alleged proceedings within England team meetings.

The long standing ethos of the game, as well as the custom and practice of the England team meetings is that they have always been private & confidential.  It is essential that the fundamental trust between players and coaches, which is critical for any team's success, is not undermined.  

The RFU has not yet received copies of the books. Rob Andrew, the RFU Elite Rugby Director has, at the request of the Board, spoken to each player and requested copies of the books to be submitted forthwith to the RFU. The RFU will then review the situation following consideration of the complete context of the reported comments and any further content that the books may contain.

The RFU Management Board has asked Francis Baron, RFU Chief Executive, and Rob Andrew to review and amend the current squad rules on player books and articles.

Once finalised, these revised arrangements will be included in the new EPS Player Agreement to be drawn up under the terms of the new deal recently reached with Premier Rugby Ltd. 

- ENDS -