Test Series

Andrew to leave RFU position as Melville comes in

Rob Andrew is to leave his position as the Rugby Football Union's (RFU) director of professional rugby at the end of the season.

The former England international has worked with the RFU since 2006 and previously occupied the roles of rugby operations director and elite rugby director.

Andrew has at times faced criticism, with England having underperformed at times over the past decade, and his position came under particular scrutiny following the 2011 Rugby World Cup when the side were eliminated in the quarter-finals.

However, Andrew has been credited with improving the RFU's relationship with Premiership sides and he will remain in his position to complete the latest agreement with domestic clubs that runs through until the 2023 World Cup.

"After 10 years at the RFU, it feels like the right time to step down at the end of the season," Andrew told the RFU's official website.

"My role has primarily been to set up a structure that would ultimately deliver long-term success to England through a pipeline of talented players coming through the academy system.

"Bringing together the clubs to support the new academy scheme required recognition from the RFU to reward them to bring on successful academy players and I believe we have achieved this."

The RFU duly confirmed that former England captain Nigel Melville, the USA Rugby CEO, will take over the remits of both Andrew and Joe Lydon, the RFU's head of international player development.

Andrew added: "Having played with and known Nigel for a long time I believe that he is the best candidate to be appointed to take over the reins from me and I wish him well and I will support him in any way I can going forward."