PHIL Vickery has urged Twickenham's hirers and firers not to do "anything silly" as England boss Andy Robinson seemingly lurches towards the end of his miserable 22-Test reign.
World Cup winner Vickery's plea looks certain to fall on deaf ears though, with an outside chance the 42-year-old head coach could even depart the Rugby Football Union later today.
Robinson says he will fight tooth and nail, yet an unacceptable autumn Test series scarred by a record home defeat against New Zealand, a first Twickenham loss to Argentina and then South Africa ending their nine-year wait for a win at Twickenham has taken its toll.
He is due to head off for three days of World Cup planning business in Paris tomorrow, but his employers should save him the bother because there is little chance he will be around for England's tournament opener against the United States on September 8 next year.
A 25-14 home defeat against South Africa, after England led 14-3 approaching half-time, undoubtedly proved the final straw - despite Vickery and several other players backing their boss.
The Wasps prop said: "It is not rocket science to work out after a performance like that, we are not favourites to win the World Cup. But we have got good players, and we hope to get others back from injury. I just hope they keep 'Robbo' and the coaches together. It can work, but it does take time. I hope the powers-that-be don't do anything silly."
Robinson, if he is allowed time, will compile a detailed report of the autumn games, which he hopes to present to his Rugby Football Union bosses as part of a planned debrief schedule, probably by December 7. But events could move quicker than that, with the 2007 RBS 6 Nations Championship two months away.
Whether Robinson resigns or is sacked now seems the only unanswered question following two years of often mind-numbing mediocrity when England won just nine Tests and lost 13.