Street leaves England role

Gary Street has stepped down as England Women's coach*
Gary Street has stepped down as England Women's coach*

World Cup-winning head coach Gary Street has left his post in charge of the England Women's side by mutual consent, the Rugby Football Union has announced.

The hugely successful 46-year-old was appointed to the position in 2007 and led England to five successive Six Nations crowns until 2012 and back-to-back World Cup finals in 2010 and 2014.

The second of those finals saw England lift the World Cup for the first time in 20 years after beating Canada 21-9 in the final last August.

Street will not lead England's title defence in two years' time, though, after the RFU announced on Monday that he would be leaving his post, with Nicky Ponsford, the RFU's Head of Performance (Women), taking interim charge of the national team for the upcoming Six Nations while a full-time replacement is sought.

An RFU statement read: "Looking ahead to the 2017 Women's Rugby World Cup it was felt by all parties that a change would be beneficial to take the women's programme, which has evolved significantly in recent years, to the next stage."

Street, who also led England to glory in the 2012 European Cup, said: "I have been part of an incredible journey for the last 14 years, and I am extremely proud of the part that I played in growing the women's game to where it is now.

"The pinnacle has to be winning the Rugby World Cup in France last year. However, huge credit must go to all the people involved in making that happen, not just the players but the backroom staff too and the many players and staff before that. It is a moment I will cherish forever.

"I now feel that I have achieved everything that I set out to do, and this is the right time to explore new challenges in my career.'

Graham Smith, the team's assistant coach, will also leave his position following the end of this season's Six Nations campaign.