English Rugby
Carling 'shocked' over Steele departure
ESPNscrum Staff
June 10, 2011
Will Carling has spoke out against Steele's departure from the RFU © Getty Images

England's youngest ever captain Will Carling has admitted he was 'stunned' by the news of John Steele's dramatic departure on Friday morning.

The 72 cap England centre was speaking to the BBC and lamented the lack of time the RFU gave Steele to see his strategy through to fruition.

"It just seems that we don't learn the lessons in the RFU," Carling said.

"They appoint John Steele to change the structure of the RFU, to get it focused and to get it delivering success for English rugby.

"You appoint a guy, you have got to allow him to see that through. He has made some strategic appointments from what I hear and things are going well.

"He has made a mistake in changing the brief of the performance director but certain key individuals have got completely obsessed with the appointment of this [position]."

Steele has received backing from other areas in sport, most notably from Baroness Sue Campbell, chair of UK Sport.

Steele was the former chief executive of UK Sport for five years and Baroness Campbell, talking to The Guardian, expressed her 'shock' at the news of Steele's departure.

"I am shocked and upset to learn that John Steele has left the RFU. As CEO at UK Sport for five years he was inspirational, highly professional and a huge success in driving change and leading people," said Baroness Campbell.

"British sport is incredibly fortunate to have a man with talent, principles and high integrity like John Steele and I am certain he will emerge from his RFU experience and continue to play a vital role in ensuring British sporting success well into the future."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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