Critics have argued that this influence has been missed but SRU chief executive Gordon McKie has previously felt that there was no requirement for the position to be filled again. However, he is now happy to see the gap effectively filled by Graham Lowe, whose title is director of performance rugby.
Said McKie: "About 18 months ago we recognised that we needed a performance director who was rugby knowledgeable and wasn't just concerned with players and coaches, but the whole pathway. Graham is also responsible for strengthening the fitness and conditioning, physio, medical, nutrition, diet.
"He is a full member of the board and has a voice, and is a great addition to the board, and has made a huge contribution in eight months, also in his relationships with clubs.
"Initially, I wanted to be quite hands-on to identify what was needed, and deferred that (appointment], but I reached the conclusion and recommended that we needed to find that guy (rugby director]. His skills are quite different to mine, but he complements my own."