Belfast Telegraph

Monday 1 September 2014

Brown issues England apology

Rugby Football Union

Rugby Football Union acting chief executive Stephen Brown has apologised for England's performance at the World Cup.

England lost in the quarter-finals in New Zealand after a campaign marred by off-the-field incidents and the RFU's management board met on Wednesday to discuss the recommendations made by the critical reviews into that campaign, which were leaked to The Times last week.

"The most important thing is to make an apology to everyone involved in rugby for the performance of the World Cup and the surrounding events," Brown told a press conference at Twickenham.

He added: "We've let ourselves down as a sport and as a team. It's important we recognise that and take some action going forward.

"Standards were below what we expect, we had a number of off-pitch disciplinary matters and that attracted a lot of negative coverage which we regret.

"We need to fix this going forward and make sure we are in a better place going into 2015 and the report is aimed to do that."

Ian Metcalfe, chairman of the Professional Game Board, added: "We also apologise to the players themselves and coaches for the leaks that happened, they are inexcusable.

"But we must not get so wrapped up in finding the leaker to ignore the real issues we have in England rugby.

"It's not all broken, there are lots of good things out there and working together we can improve on that."

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