Twickenham Stadium

The likelihood of Sir Clive Woodward returning to the RFU as the union’s Performance Director receeded dramatically today with the news that the England Senior team has been removed from the job description.An RFU spokesman said: “With the Rugby World Cup starting in the autumn and the positive development of the senior team so far, the RFU Board is keen not to upset the momentum established. It has therefore approved a change to the job description for the role. The changed job description, which was sent to all shortlisted candidates last week and posted on, removes the senior team, and its management, from the Performance Director responsibilities. It caps their involvement at the England Saxons level to reinforce the point that this is about talent development up through the men and women’s age group teams and about defining a long term performance strategy. This will be reviewed after RWC2011 depending on the outcome on the field and discussions with the England team management.Due to recent media speculation around the Performance Director role the Rugby Football Union (RFU) is currently recruiting the RFU Board of Directors feels it necessary to clarify a couple of key issues related to candidates and scope of role.
“The recruitment process is private and confidential and candidates will not be discussed publicly. Any names suggested are therefore pure speculation and the RFU will not confirm or deny those names and is assuming the candidates will do likewise.
“In terms of scope of role it has become clear that there is misunderstanding in this regard. Since the announcement of the restructure on 6th January it has always been made clear by the RFU that the role is about the long term development of England talent at all levels for the Rugby World Cups to come in 2015 and 2019. As such it was always intended to be a peer role with the other Rugby Directors not a coaching role for the current England senior team nor a role responsible for all other rugby activities. It should be emphasised that this is a support role focused on talent systems and development including academies and age group teams.
“The interview process remains ongoing and the RFU will assess the candidates’ capabilities in line with this job profile. An announcement will follow soon thereafter and in the meantime the RFU will continue to stick to its position of not disclosing any further information. For clarity the closing date for the Performance Director role as posted on was erroneous and the process is closed.”