- Rob Andrew speaks to RFU.com about world cup fallout
- Eilte Director shoulders responsibility for "disaster" but looks ahead to RBS 6 Nations
Rob Andrew says he is very saddened by the damaging fallout after England’s Rugby World Cup 2011 campaign and feels an unbalanced picture is emerging.
Recent reports carrying confidential information from three world cup reviews have been leaked to the media, the content of which paints an image of divisions between the players, management and elite set-up.
And while Andrew accepts there are a range of issues to address as a result of the "tough information", he believes the criticisms can help England Rugby improve.
"I’m hugely disappointed and very saddened by what’s been going on," he said.
"Fundamentally [the information in the reports] should not have been leaked, it was confidential information. We were charged through the PGB (Professional Game Board) to look at some very tough information to make recommendations to the RFU board next Wednesday.
"You are always going to get criticisms when you are dealing with confidential information from players and coaches and clearly nobody is happy with what’s gone on. We’re very disappointed but we’ve got to look at this and make sure we move forward and learn from the mistakes that have been made.
"A very one-sided story is being put out there and I don’t think it reflects the full picture. Yes, some players have been unhappy but we would’ve sifted that information and got through it to make some recommendations.
"I feel very sorry for a lot of those players who are very professional, very committed and very proud to play for England and they are very sad to be tarnished with a lot of what’s gone on. I think the record needs to be put straight, there needs to be a balance to this and I’m sure those players will be very committed in the RBS 6 Nations to put things right."
I’m totally responsible – Andrew
Photo: Getty Images
As Director of the Elite Rugby Department Andrew accepts his responsibility for a "disaster" of a world cup campaign but he is determined to re-establish some pride in England Rugby, starting with the RBS 6 Nations next February.
He said: "Ultimately I’m totally responsible for all of this in the [elite] department and I’m very saddened by the whole thing.
"The world cup was a disaster, there’s no doubt about it that we have to pick our way through this and move forward. Martin [Johnson] has made a decision to step down and we have to find the process for the next head coach and look to the 6 Nations.
"We’ve got a lot of very talented young players and we’ve got to put some pride back in the England shirt."
Andrew continues to discuss his feelings on the departure of Team Manager Martin Johnson and Attack Coach Brian Smith, and also points out an important distinction between the England Team and the RFU as an organisation.
While the Elite Player Squad is the pinnacle and undoubtedly had a deeply disappointing tournament, to just focus on that ignores the other good work that is going on in other parts of the union.
He added: "The RFU has had a pretty tough 12 months for lots of reasons but the staff here have been outstanding. We’ve just produced the best [financial] results we’ve ever produced.
"We must not forget among all this world cup hysteria – which is quite right and we’ve got to address that – but we are the 6 Nations champions, we won an Under 20 Grand Slam, we were third in the Sevens World Series.
"We’ve got a new executive team in place who are building through the development side and the commercial side. The union is not in meltdown but we must draw a line under these issues and fundamentally start working together again, which we haven’t been doing in the last 12 months."