England should dominate rugby world - RFU boss Steve Brown

England players
England's men's team is ranked second in the world

There is "no excuse" for England not to be the most dominant rugby nation in the world, says new boss of the Rugby Football Union Steve Brown.

Brown has succeeded Ian Ritchie as RFU chief executive, and says he has "bold ambitions" for English rugby.

"We want to win and we want to win everything we're involved in - not just the men's team but the women too and with every team we have," said Brown.

"It's my job to make sure we deliver on that promise."

Brown, who worked as the RFU chief financial officer for six years, takes charge of an economically prosperous union.

The 2015-16 accounts showed the highest turnover in the governing body's history, with revenue increasing by just over £199m to £407m - driven by £228m from hosting the World Cup.

The England side are ranked second in the world under head coach Eddie Jones.

"We want to be the strongest country for rugby across the globe," he added. "I don't think there's an excuse not to be that.

"We may have been a bit modest in the past, but we are very clear and very open that we want to win.

"We potentially have the best rugby opportunity in the world and we need to make the most of that."

Threat of strike 'a concern'

Like Jones, Brown has prioritised the next World Cup in Japan in 2019, saying "everything is geared up around winning" that tournament.

However, the start of the domestic campaign has been overshadowed by concerns over player welfare, with some of England's leading players voicing their opposition to Premiership Rugby's plans to extend the season in 2019-2020.

Number eight Billy Vunipola told BBC Radio 5 live's Rugby Union Weekly podcast that players were in danger of "burning out" because of the demands of the modern game, while strike action has not been ruled out.

Brown said the issues are a concern and insists the players' voice will be heard.

Speaking to BBC Sport, he added: "The player welfare piece that is in the public domain at the moment is important, and it's important we listen to the players.

"Clearly they want to be heard - and now is the time for us to listen. I want to get the facts and really understand what the challenges might be. Let's find a solution that works for everybody."

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Game time at the limit for players - Youngs

Will Jones be followed by another foreign coach?

Meanwhile, Brown said Jones' replacement as England head coach needs to be the "best", regardless of nationality.

Australian Jones, the first foreigner to lead the England side, is expected to leave the role following the 2019 World Cup.

And Brown insists Jones' successor should have international coaching experience, which would rule out a number of English candidates.

"The bar has been set now - it needs to be the best person for the job," Brown said.

"We are looking at succession planning generally, and it is specifically relevant to the coaching team.

"It's something Eddie is interested in as well. It is on the radar for sure."

Upon appointing Jones in 2015, Brown's predecessor Ritchie said the next head coach would ideally be English - but the likes of Rob Baxter, who led Exeter to the Premiership title, has very limited experience of coaching at the highest level.

"I don't know about any individuals and whether they will be ready or not," Brown said.

"Let's see where we get to - but we will be planning the succession of Eddie, and where that ends up we don't know yet."

Eddie Jones
Eddie Jones has been England head coach since 2015

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