Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 22 July 2014

Departing Ford hurt by criticism

Mike Ford

Mike Ford is preparing to leave his role with the Rugby Football Union on good terms, although he admits to being hurt by the leaked criticism that was directed at him in the wake of the World Cup.

The defence coach was heavily chastised by the players when they were asked to review why the tournament was such a failure, with feedback that made its way into the media mocking some of his methods.

"I have no regrets and bear no hard feelings towards the RFU," the 46-year-old told the Daily Telegraph. "I hope England go out and win the Six Nations."

On having seen his abilities called into question in the leaked report, he added: "I was disappointed they (the players) didn't feel they could come face to face with me and discuss the issues during the World Cup. That's what disappointed me the most.

"I felt we had an environment where people could do that. For a few days, I went through all sorts of emotions; embarrassment, anger and vengeance. I thought I had a relationship with all the players where they trusted me and could say things to me.

"If you look at what they said, it was pretty petty and not worth reporting about."