As judge, jury and potential executioner and king-maker, Rob Andrew's deliberations are drawing to a close. Should he re-appoint Brian Ashton or look elsewhere for the man to take England to the next World Cup?
His decision will be revealed at some stage in the next couple of weeks. Ashton, depending on who you believe, is the man who either guided or rode the Red Rose bandwagon to the last final in Paris, and has a contract that ends on December 31. Andrew must decide whether to renew it.
Not knowing Ashton personally nor ever having had the benefit of being either coached or managed by him, I must confess my experience of the man is limited to press conferences, briefings and other people's first hand encounters.
Nevertheless it is impossible to avoid the perception that Ashton is an over-promoted individual. Fine threequarters coach he probably is, a strong leader of men he is probably not.
Leave aside the fact his chief accusers Lawrence Dallaglio and Mike Catt were never part of his inner sanctum and may therefore have been grinding their respective axes when they lambasted him in the national press, for me Ashton is damned by the fact England's defence of world title was turned around by a youngster like Olly Barkley.
It is time for England to look outside of the current structure. To my mind Dean Ryan, the Gloucester director of rugby, is the outstanding candidate but he has taken a rain check.
It is difficult disagree with his sentiment that he still has much to prove at Kingsholm. When he does win either the Premiership or the Heineken Cup - as he surely will, he should be allowed to name his price though that might not be until after 2011.
In the meantime Andrew must make the psychological journey his counterparts at the Football Association took seven years ago when they appointed Sven Goran Eriksson as the football team's head coach.
Andrew must accept the answer lies not in the Premiership but overseas. It is time for England to appoint their first foreign supremo?
While Ashton found himself caught in some sort of tactical vacuum in France the fact that, with the exception of Gloucester, the most progressive teams in the domestic top flight were all coached by non Englishmen should not be ignored.
Pat Howard took Leicester to second last season, Alan Gaffney turned perennial under-achievers Saracens into genuine contenders, Brian Smith has transformed London Irish and this term Steve Meehan is inspiring Bath to play the sort of integrated rugby beyond the English national side. Their nationality? Australian.
Anyone got John Connolly's number? Grumpy he may be but he's undoubtedly the sort of person that is comfortable as a front man. He's also a very good coach and is available at the moment having stomped out of the Wallabies set up. Don't be fooled by the fact Ashton's England beat Connolly's Australia in the World Cup quarter finals. If those teams met ten times Ashton wouldn't be celebrating too often.
Then of course there's Jake White, the man whose team beat Ashton's. He's free too and has scaled the highest peak in rugby.
As a manager White is non pareil, he had a vision, stuck to it when the brickbats started flying and was shown to be right. Not a bad skill-set.
If Andrew can't get either of these he should look no further than Ian McGeechan, not foreign but certainly not English. McGeechan is the outstanding British rugby director. Naming a Scot would at least demonstrate his sense of humour.
Andrew has already missed out on Nick Mallett, Warren Gatland and Graham Henry - any of whom would have done an excellent job.
He has two weeks to get it right and get it right he must, even if that means outraging a section of the sport.