News24

English rugby's CEO quits

2011-11-02 22:56

London - The English Rugby Football Union (RFU)'s acting chief executive Martyn Thomas announced he was leaving his post on Wednesday as his controversial Cotton Review was scrapped.

Thomas had instigated a review of England's shambolic World Cup campaign to be carried out by Fran Cotton but at an RFU board meeting it was announced that Thomas would leave at the end of his contract in December and that an alternative independent review would be carried out.

The RFU's chief financial officer Stephen Brown will take over as acting CEO when Thomas leaves on December 16.

In a statement, RFU chairman Paul Murphy said: "On behalf of the RFU I would like to thank Martyn for his contribution and dedication to rugby and the Union over the years, particularly in his last six as chairman and latterly as acting chief executive."

"He has been an integral part of the growth of the Union and the game as well as securing the 2015 Rugby World Cup for England as hosts. I know he will continue to support the Union with all his efforts until his contract ends."

The RFU statement said the Board was committed to a wide-ranging independent review of English rugby "to ensure the best performance systems are in place going towards RWC 2015."

Thomas will also relinquish his roles as chairman of England Rugby 2015, as a director of the European Rugby Cup and his places on the International Rugby Board (IRB) and Six Nations committees.

Thomas's decision to instruct former England prop and British & Irish Lions manager Cotton to carry out a review of England's performance, on and off the field in New Zealand, had proved unpopular and the Rugby Players' Association has said its members would not co-operate.

The team were widely criticised for their mediocre tournament which ended at the quarter-final stage against France. There were also several high-profile off-field indiscretions.

Reuters