On Tuesday, the RFU announced plans to downgrade the position by removing all direct influence over the senior England team from the performance director's portfolio.
The move was proposed by RFU chief executive John Steele and the decision ensured England manager Martin Johnson would report directly to him.
But 48 hours later, the RFU board voted by a slim majority to scrap Steele's proposal and revert to the original job description, with one amendment.
The new candidate will not have any role with the senior England team until after the Rugby World Cup in September and October.
"The board met and discussed the issue of Martin Johnson's line manager. A vote was taken in the end, which was passed by a slim majority, to revert to the original job description with one amendment," confirmed an RFU spokesman.
The RFU have a shortlist of three candidates, who were due to be interviewed for the job on Monday but that process has now had to be postponed.
Sir Clive Woodward has been favourite for the position since its creation as part of Steele's management restructure in January.
England Saxons coach Stuart Lancaster and England cricket managing director Hugh Morris have also been linked with the role.
The bulk of the performance director's job is to focus on player development. The conflict has centred on whether the new recruit should be the England manager's boss or not.
The board voted unanimously on April 27 to accept Steele's recommendation to change the original job description, capping the new recruit's involvement at England Saxons level.
That move was widely interpreted as ruling out a return to the RFU for Woodward, with reports suggesting he would not be prepared to accept a reduced sphere of influence.
The RFU could provide no official explanation as to why the board performed a volte face on Thursday night and so publicly undermined Steele's authority.
However, it has been widely reported pro-Woodward factions within the RFU were concerned England's World Cup-winning coach would walk away.
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