FORMER performance director of the Rugby Football Union Chris Spice insists English rugby chiefs "have to look at themselves" for the mess surrounding head coach Andy Robinson's protracted exit.
Twickenham top brass are still unable to make an official announcement about the England head coach's departure - more than 72 hours after his final game in charge.
It is believed Robinson, right, will resign, rather than be sacked, from a post he has filled for the past 22 Test matches.
For Spice, who resigned in protest at the RFU's decision to keep Robinson on in April after a poor performance in the RBS 6 Nations Championship, this was a situation that could have been avoided.
"The RFU were too cautious and would have been much better starting afresh (in April). It was always going to be difficult to bring in new people with the head coach still in place," Spice said.
"The Rugby Football Union have to look at themselves. They also have to look at the process of how decisions affecting the elite game are made.
"Rather than having to rely on amateur committee men, there should be professionals in charge."
England won just nine games during his time at the helm, their 13 defeats including a run of seven successive losses between February and November this year.
The last straw was Saturday's 25-14 defeat against South Africa - England led 14-3 just before half-time - making his exit inevitable.
Robinson was involved in talks with Rugby Football Union elite rugby director Rob Andrew on Monday, with six-figure severance pay details top of the agenda.
Discussions continued yesterday, although it is not known whether Robinson was involved.
Robinson should be in Paris at the moment for three days' World Cup planning meetings - but that trip was aborted, with team manager Viv Brown representing England.
Andrew could take a more hands-on role with England - working alongside existing coaches Brian Ashton, John Wells and Mike Ford - although overseas candidates such as Warren Gatland and Nick Mallett, together with England's World Cup-winning captain Martin Johnson and current Harlequins rugby director Dean Richards, all have their supporters.