Stuart Lancaster will not be considered for a swift return to the RFU, despite a vacancy arising that would be tailor-made for the former England head coach.

Last week’s abrupt resignation by Joe Lydon has left the union hurriedly searching for a new head of international player development. The position was created in 2013 as part of a performance department led by Lancaster — alongside his primary role in charge of the senior national team.

Following England’s World Cup debacle last autumn, Lancaster’s contract with the RFU was terminated despite a widespread belief that he could be offered the chance to remain and oversee the nurturing of English talent.


His academy and Saxons background means he has the appropriate credentials but Ian Ritchie, the governing body’s chief executive, on Tuesday dismissed the notion of Lancaster as a viable candidate.

‘We came to the view at the time that it was best to make the clean break and that is what happened,’ he said, in reference to the post-World Cup review. ‘Nobody is ever going to ignore Stuart in terms of what he has done and what he has achieved for rugby, but the key thing is to look at the structure looking forward.

‘It is in flux primarily because of the change with Eddie Jones and Stuart. Stuart had a view about how he saw the pathway and wanted to be involved with that. Eddie’s view is that he very much wants to focus on coaching the first team.’

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