June International Tours

Ashton to leave England coaching job


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Former England hooker Brian Moore believes that the current England coach Brian Ashton will leave his position after England had an inconsistent Six Nations campaign.

Ashton was appointed in December 2006 after the RFU sacked Any Robinson and then Ashton was reappointed after the Rugby World cup.

England lost to Wales for the first time in 20 years at Twickenham putting Ashton’s position in doubt from the start of the Six Nations.

Ashton will meet Rugby Football Union elite rugby director Rob Andrew on Tuesday to discuss his future.

“There has been a lot of hysteria about this and I suspect he’s going to go,” Moore told BBC Radio 5 Live.

“From what I hear a deal has already been done and the decision made.”

Once Ashton and Andrew have met Andrew will meet the Rugby Football Union (RFU) management board next week to submit his own review of England’s Six Nations performance.

It is at that meeting on the 26th of March that a decision on Ashton’s future will be made.

Moore says that despite the decision to let Ashton go he must must take the chance to defend himself in his personal discussion with Andrew and believes ditching him would not be justified.

“If I was Brian Ashton I’d go to Rob Andrew and say, ‘presumably you’d be perfectly happy with what I’ve done so far wouldn’t you?’

“He was the most successful northern hemisphere coach in the World Cup and got England into the final and then got them to second in the Six Nations, despite having to deal with a lot of retirements.

“Those are the facts and the results. It was a job he stepped into; he only had seven months to prepare for the World Cup and he dealt with retirements and blooded new players.”

Ahead of England’s match against Ireland last week Andrew said that there would be no changes in the coaching set-up before the two-Test tour of New Zealand in June.

Moore however suspects that the RFU have already started looking for Ashton’s successor.

“If I were Brian Ashton I’d ask Rob Andrew whether he has had any talks, informal or formal, with a possible replacement and see what he says,” added Moore.

“I think it will be Jake White.

When asked if he thought the RFU had already spoken to the former South African World Cup-winning coach, Moore said: “Yes, I do.”

Moore also says that he feels that a change of coach will not sort out the problem.

“It’s bizarre that since Clive Woodward left four years ago, England haven’t been able to sort out their coaching structure, never mind the people,” stated Moore.

“To me, that is not representative of an organised, thoughtful and businesslike body.

“England do not know whether they want a manager, a coach, a manager-coach or all three.

“It’s a mess and it ought not to be a mess because the RFU has enough money to make it a Rolls Royce of a structure.”

BBC Radio 5 Live’s rugby correspondent Iain Robertson thinks differently from Moore and says that he does not believe Ashton’s future will be resolved in the near future.

“It’s a little precipitous to say that the decision has already been taken and a new coach has been named in private,” he said.

“I don’t think that it the case, but there are definitely question marks over Ashton at the moment.

“The review on Tuesday between Rob Andrew and Brian Ashton will go back over the Six Nations as the World Cup has already done then.

“Club England will then become involved and then next Wednesday they will go in front of the full RFU.

“The recommendation will be to either stay with Ashton, whose record looks very good; runner-up in the World Cup, runner-up in the Six Nations but is runner-up good enough for England?

“I think nothing will happen for another week. There will be a lot of heated debate and then the decision will com

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