| 5.3°C Dublin

Andrew resignation and drastic overhaul of their RFU required if England are to rise again

It would undoubtedly deflate a few egos, but the time has come for England's beleaguered rugby bosses to learn from how other countries run their international affairs.

Yesterday's leaked publication of damning reports into the World Cup debacle shows that England have plummeted to an all-time low.

The words "laughing stock" do not not even begin to do their current shambolic state justice.

The combined documents of damnation run to more than 100 pages, three separate reports that lay bare, in gruesome fashion, what unfolded before and during a World Cup campaign riddled by such staggering incompetence and amateurish antics that it almost defies belief.

"Rotten culture at the heart of England rugby", "England divided" and "Failings that ensured end of the world for England" are headlines that should send shockwaves reverberating from Cornwall to Cumbria.

So too players' -- albeit anonymous -- remarks such as "the man-management was absolutely terrible", "pre-season was a f*** up", "the coaches really hate each other", and "you sense for some players it was more about getting cash and caps than about getting better".

Martin Johnson has already resigned as England manager -- perhaps he knew what was coming -- but Rob Andrew (pictured with him), the Rugby Football Union's elite rugby director, must now follow suit.

Andrew formulated one of the three reports presented to the Professional Game Board, but is he not part of a review process that actually judges his own department?

Johnson has carried the can for what happened in New Zealand, while players and coaches are copping flak from all directions.

Andrew? Still at Twickenham, still defiant, whistling Gloria Gaynor's "I will survive" at every opportunity, one imagines.

Already, though, an all-too-familiar English rugby undercurrent has surfaced in that the immediate overriding concern appears to be outing the individual or individuals responsible for leaking information. Take highly respected Rugby Players' Association chief Damian Hopley, who has demanded an investigation to track down the source of the leaked reports.

Hopley's anger is understandable, but who did what is for later on.

In the short-term, the RFU -- assuming there is still someone at Twickenham and all lights have not been turned off -- must get on with far more urgent business elsewhere. That work must involve the immediate appointment of Stuart Lancaster as caretaker England coach, assisted by forwards specialist Graham Rowntree and Mike Catt adding expertise in terms of attack.


That would be a starting point -- it should also stop any knee-jerk coaching appointments of the type that saw Johnson brought in -- and then they must appoint a captain with an ability to lead.

If the RFU is in any doubt about what approach to adopt, then all it needs to do is look at the Wales model.

Sam Warburton, 23, is their inspirational captain, Warren Gatland is in total charge and his coaches, Shaun Edwards, Rob Howley, Robin McBryde and Neil Jenkins, command respect.

With Wales, everything emanates from Gatland and Warburton, and everyone has bought into it.

There are no new ideas, only reheated ones, and the RFU needs to swallow some humble pie, look at what Gatland and the Welsh Rugby Union's chief executive Roger Lewis have done, and then adopt a fresh, invigorating approach with England.

Like Wales, England have some outstanding players. Unlike Wales, England's World Cup selectors were seemingly paralysed by fear.

For those on the outside looking in, such a wide-ranging leak has revealed the full extent of England's World Cup calamity. Everyone knows everything now in full, gory detail.

And that, in terms of any long-term recovery for England and the RFU, can only be a good thing.