JOHN STEELE, the Rugby Football Union’s (RFU’s) CEO, today outlined his thoughts on the progress made by the current England team as it approaches the forthcoming RBS 6 Nations during the Sportsweek programme on BBC Radio 5 Live.
In a wide-ranging interview, he talked about his background before taking up the role and his experiences and decisions made since starting on September 6 last year. Among other topics,he touched on the forthcoming RBS 6 Nations which starts in under two weeks.
To further expand on his points made in the interview, John Steele was keen to clarify the RFU’s expectations for the tournament, saying: “This year’s tournament is tighter than it has been for a number of years. Almost all sides are in with a chance winning certainly one game and possibly the title. So while we are the bookies favourite and highest ranked European side in the world, that does not count for much in the Six Nations where only three times in the last eight years has the highest ranked side won the title.
“The Six Nations is unique in world rugby due to its heritage and traditional rivalries and we cherish that competitiveness and history.
“We know that Martin and the team will be striving to win every game but it is important to outline what we think is realistic. Given we have three matches at home and have some momentum from the autumn we believe finishing in the top two of the Championship is a realistic expectation. Coming third or below would be disappointing given our current position.
“Alongside that, we are also looking to see the development of our young players continue and our playing style evolve further as we build to the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand later this year, where we are fully expecting to be in the mix after the group stages.
“We will ensure that Martin and his coaches get everything they need to ensure they are given the best possible chance to deliver against our ambitions.”