Robinson’s England world rocked again

The London Sunday Times has published extracts from an internal RFU memo describing the England coaching team as insular, arrogant and egotistical.

The memo excluded head coach Andy Robinson when it came to arrogance but said he had failed to develop a team and questioned his selections and strategy.

Those who were hammered the hardest, the likes of Phil Larder (defence), Dave Alred (kicking) and Joe Lydon (attack), have already been axed. Larder and Alred were key members of Clive Woodward’s World Cup winning coaching team.

In the RFU memo it was said that the coaching team in 2005 and 2006 had become “overblown, with far too many involved. Many had little, if anything, to do”.

The Sunday Times reports that the strongest criticism in the document comes from the RFU’s performance department, of which England coaches are meant to be a part. “The England coaching team have become very insular and alienated from their colleagues in the performance department and other RFU departments. Certain of the coaching and management team have an egotistical, arrogant and patronising attitude . . . a culture change is needed.” It goes on: “There are problems in defence, attack, kicking, fitness and technical areas.”

The England players then add: “The ego and arrogance aspects of the coaching team have to go. There are too many dour, negative characters in the England coaching set-up.”

The report favours retaining Robinson but there are conditions attached to this. “While Andy is an excellent coach, he has struggled over developing a playing strategy, with team selection and the arrangement of his coaching team.”

Robinson is now one of five selectors since Rob Andrew took over as National Director of Rugby.

The Boks play England twice at Twickenham in November.