Ashton rejects English academy role


Brian Ashton has rejected the Rugby Football Union's offer to become their national academy head coach.

Ashton's reign as England boss reached an abrupt end following last season's Six Nations Championship.

England's 2003 World Cup-winning captain Martin Johnson has now been installed as manager, working with a coaching team of Brian Smith, John Wells and Mike Ford.

The RFU received widespread condemnation for their handling of Ashton, with many people feeling the national academy job amounted to a derisory move by Twickenham top brass.

Ashton, though, who led England to the 2007 World Cup final, will provide what has been termed "a range of high-level performance consultancy services" for the RFU.