England boss Stuart Lancaster gains new responsibilities in RFU restructure
Last Updated: January 31, 2013 9:24am
Stuart Lancaster: now responsible for all England national teams and player development
Stuart Lancaster has been given a powerful new role overseeing the entire England structure.
It completes a remarkable rise for the England coach, who just a year ago was relatively unknown.
Lancaster is now effectively the RFU's elite rugby director responsible for all national teams and player development.
"Stuart believes this is absolutely the right way to go. Elements of what we're talking about, he is doing anyway. He is very comfortable."
RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie
The England structure has been taken away from Rob Andrew's current responsibilities, leaving him clear to concentrate on renegotiating the RFU's new deal with Premiership Rugby.
The latest restructure was recommended by Peter Keen, the former UK Sport performance director, and Sir Ian McGeechan in a report commissioned in the wake of last year's Rugby World Cup debacle.
RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie said: "This is the option the five of us believe is the right structure to optimise the performance of the England team."
Under this new structure, Lancaster will head up the newly-created international performance department and the RFU will recruit a new head of player development to report into him.
But Ritchie insisted that Lancaster's primary focus will continue to be the England head coach.
"Stuart believes this is absolutely the right way to go. Elements of what we're talking about, he is doing anyway. He is very comfortable," Ritchie said.
"I don't see this as adding a burden of responsibility on Stuart - a time-consuming thing diverting him away from the senior England team.
"The England set-up is very plugged into the RFU. Stuart will continue to get a lot of support from me, from Rob Andrew and from this new key role that will come in.
"That is a serious grown-up role. It is someone who will have a key role in the development of England teams.
"It will be a seriously mature person who will be able to deal with a lot of these things on his own. He has to report into Stuart."