England rugby chief Steele quits - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

England rugby chief Steele quits

10/06/2011 07:56:52 PM Comments (0)

John Steele has quit his post as chief executive of the Rugby Football Union following the row over the selection process for the RFU's new performance director.

Steele came under heavy fire last month over the chaotic series of events involving England's 2003 World Cup winning coach Sir Clive Woodward pulled out of a return to the Test set-up.

Woodward, who coached England to World Cup glory in 2003, had been widely tipped to take-up the newly created role of RFU performance director.

RFU chiefs were furious when Steele changed the job description for the post, stripping the role of any responsibility for England's senior Test team.

That move was seen as a deliberate snub to Woodward, making the position less attractive to the World Cup-winner and other high-profile candidates.

But that was followed by another U-turn, where the initial terms of the job were reinstated, possibly clearing the way for Woodward to return to the organisation he resigned from amid acrimony in 2004.

England great Fran Cotton said then Steele should be sacked.

Cotton, who played alongside Woodward in England's 1980 Grand Slam side, said the only way to get his former team-mate back on board was for Steele to be ousted.

"This is where the (RFU) chairman and non-executive directors have got to step in," he told the BBC.

"The only way it will be solved is by John Steele's removal, he has shown he is not up to the job," added Cotton, himself a former RFU vice-chairman.

"If it's a choice between John Steele as chief executive or Clive Woodward as performance director, it's a no-brainer."

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