Rugby Football Union (RFU) chief executive John Steele has left his post three months before the start of the World Cup, the RFU said on Friday.
English rugby’s governing body issued a short statement announcing his departure without giving details but Steele, appointed a year ago, was widely reported to have been under pressure over his handling of the performance director vacancy.
Steele had overseen sweeping changes to the organisation’s structure but last month came under fire for changing his mind over the job description for the performance director role which World Cup-winning coach Clive Woodward had been linked with.
Woodward ruled himself out of the running for the job, leaving the RFU without a candidate with little time remaining before England head to New Zealand for the World Cup in September and October.
“The RFU board of directors can confirm that John Steele has left the union with immediate effect,” the RFU statement said.
“At the current time there is nothing more we can add while discussions are ongoing and we will update further as we are able.” — Reuters