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England to mull over Ashton future

  • Story Highlights
  • England will wait until November before reviewing coach Brian Ashton's future
  • The 61-year-old is seeking a new contract after reaching the World Cup final
  • Ashton has revived England's fortunes after a record run of defeats in 2006
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LONDON, England -- England rugby coach Brian Ashton will have to wait until November at least before learning if he has been rewarded with a new contract.

Coach Brian Ashton wants a new contract with England after a successful World Cup campaign.

The 61-year-old, who took England into the World Cup final before a 15-6 defeat by South Africa on Saturday night, has a rolling deal that was to be reviewed in December.

He has publicly stated he would like to continue in the job, having taken charge ahead of the Six Nations in February, and is being tipped to earn a four-year contract taking in the 2011 World Cup.

However, English RFU elite director Rob Andrew said there was no rush to make a decision on the former Bath coach's future.

"We will review the World Cup correctly and properly in due course over the next few weeks, and we will look to go forward. We need to reflect on what has happened," he said.

"We have a review process that will take place hopefully during November, and we will make decisions thereafter, but I am not going to be held to any deadlines.

"Brian and I have been talking all through the tournament. Brian has made very clear his position to me, and we will sort it out over the next few weeks. Everyone needs to go home and relax for a little while. We are doing it properly. Brian is very comfortable with what is going on."

Ashton added: "My view is very similar to Rob's. It is probably time to reflect. "When you are right in the middle of it all, it swirls on around you.

"England rugby has got a pretty exciting future. I enjoy doing the job, I thoroughly enjoy it. I told the players they had nothing to regret because they had given everything over the past four months. They are a special group of people, not just rugby players.

"Given where we had come from, for that group of players to run out in a World Cup final was a staggering achievement, in my opinion."

Ashton seemed set for a short tenure in the role after England were thrashed 36-0 by the Springboks in the group stage and in real danger of missing out on a quarterfinal place.

However, the return of talisman kicker Jonny Wilkinson inspired successive victories over Samoa, Tonga, Australia and France to give England the chance of becoming the first team to retain the title.

It was a far cry from 12 months previous, when Andy Robinson presided over a run of eight defeats in nine games before being sacked.

"Everyone understands the difficulties since Brian took over - it was a hospital pass," Andrew said.

"England were in complete disarray, and all of the guys -- the players, Brian as head coach -- worked incredibly hard through the Six Nations, a South African tour that was rather strange, and then into an extremely tough World Cup campaign." E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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