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RFU Revise Performance Director Role

Martin Johnson's position will not be affected

Posted May 13, 2011 by Chris White

Martin Johnson will not have to answer to the new Director

The RFU announced this week that the new Performance Director would not be given the power to overrule England coach Martin Johnson, or any of the other England sides for that matter.

The new position has been a topic of debate since it was announced, and Johnson was not keen on having to justify team and squad selections to the Director, or have decisions made for him. Johnson will instead continue to answer to RFU Chief Executive John Steele.

The appointment of a Performance Director is an interesting move for the RFU to make, considering that Directors of Football don’t seem to work in the round-ball game. There have been many clashes between managers, chairmen, owners and directors in football where people have been brought in above the managers, who had influence on which players were brought to clubs, and also which players were selected to play.

This is something that would not have worked with the opinionated and strong-willed Martin Johnson. The World Cup winning England Captain of 2003 lead England to the Six Nations Championship in 2011, Johnson would have been keen to have maintained the system that has worked so far for England.

If there is no need to upset the apple cart, why do so? Johnson is doing a perfectly good job at the moment with his current backroom staff, so is there really any need for the Performance Director to come in at all? I mean, what will he actually be doing if it is not over-seeing the national side? It’s beyond me.

The fact that the RFU have announced before interviewing for the position, that the Performance Director will not have any direct influence over Martin Johnson is the ideal move.

By making it clear early on, the man coming in, rumoured to be Sir Clive Woodward, will know that they will not be the main man with the England team, and Martin Johnson knows that he will be. Well done to the powers that be.

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