Former England centre Simon Halliday believes that ‘serious structural change’ must occur within English rugby following a disastrous World Cup campaign.
After becoming the first nation to be knocked out of a World Cup at the pool stage of the tournament, Halliday is calling for some major shakeups within the organisation, even suggesting the RFU becomes a separate entity to that of the national rugby team.
“No-one wants to see England at 8th or 9th in the world,” Halliday told the BBC.
“We all want to get back up to the top of the tree, so let’s make the changes.”
Halliday goes on to discuss how the bigger picture should be taken care of by the governing body, the RFU, but that matters concerning the England first team should be controlled by an independent organisation.
“You have to have everyone in the room who has any say in how the players are used, making sure selection is right, and making sure we have the right coaches.
“I believe there are successful structures like that all around the world, and they happen to have won World Cups and got into finals. So why not work from them.”
Halliday also suggests that the rugby union clubs and the organisation should ‘get closer together’ so as to effectively use resources.
“The club structure will not be broken here, it is incredibly powerful,” he said. “The key is to bring it together with the union, and make certain that we use all of our resource. We need to get closer together.
While an approach as radical as this is unlikely to be announced anytime in the near future, wholesale changes it appears are what’s needed for English rugby to flourish as it did before and rekindle the sort of togetherness which brought about England’s World Cup win just 12 years ago.
Rob Lyons, Pundit Arena