World Cup - Blackett: RFU must address issues
Judge Jeff Blackett called on the RFU to put their house in order after confirming he would not be resigning from his role as honorary disciplinary officer.
Blackett called for an end to what has been a difficult period for the RFU with the departure of both their chief executive and chairman, though Martyn Thomas remains in his roles as acting chief executive, chairman of Rugby World Cup 2015, which will be staged in England, and RFU representative on the International Rugby Board.
"I believe (the RFU) council and the RFU are now at a very important crossroads," said Blackett in a statement released by the RFU. "Council has reaffirmed its confidence in the board and must, therefore, also accept its responsibility to ensure that the board address the issues highlighted in the report."
He added: "The acting chairman of the board [Paul Murphy] has given me his assurances that this will happen. I believe I can better assist this process by remaining as a member of council from where I can play an active role in holding the board and acting CEO to their commitments to improve governance and restore confidentiality.
"I have already started that process and am in regular dialogue with the president [Willie Wildash] and acting chairman to ensure that we do exercise close scrutiny over the affairs of the union and provide the necessary checks and balances.
"All of us on council must now start to rebuild relationships, put personal animosities aside and restore good governance to this union."
Blackett had been considering his position after being disappointed with the RFU council's response to his report into the recruitment process which saw John Steele hired and subsequently fired as chief executive - in particular the threat of legal action should the findings be published.
Thomas, who later resigned as chairman, warned he could take legal action if the report, which was thought to call on him and eight of the RFU's nine non-executive board members to stand down immediately, was published.
Blackett added: "This whole episode has impacted on me personally much more than I expected. This, together with the amount of media attention, caused me to question whether I was causing damage to the RFU and to myself and my family by remaining as the disciplinary officer.
"Since it became public knowledge that I was considering resignation I have been overwhelmed by messages of support from all levels of rugby. Literally hundreds of people have urged me not to resign but to remain within the council to help to improve the governance of the union."