Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Home Sport Rugby

England's World Cup hits and misses

Published 04/10/2015

Captain Chris Robshaw has overseen England's worst campaign in World Cup history
Captain Chris Robshaw has overseen England's worst campaign in World Cup history

England's 33-13 defeat against Australia on Saturday night saw them crash out of the World Cup after just three games.

It was the first time in World Cup history that England had made a pool stage exit as they paid a huge price for Twickenham losses to Wales and the Wallabies.

Here, Press Association Sport identifies some of the players who were England winners and losers.



The Harlequins full-back has a knack of rubbing people up the wrong way with his feisty approach, but that cannot mask his ability as a top-class operator. Scored two tries during the World Cup opening night victory over Fiji, and was often England's go-to man. Must remain an integral part of the team.


The Bath back certainly offered England boss Stuart Lancaster an x-factor quality with his lightning pace and a consistent ability to beat the first defender. Opposition defences could not afford to switch off against him, and he is likely to become a major player during the build-up towards Japan 2019.


Found himself battling for second-row selection with Geoff Parling and Courtney Lawes, but three games into England's failed pool campaign he stood head and shoulders above both of them. At 24, he is a player who England's coach - whether that is Lancaster or someone else - can build his pack around during the next few seasons.



England's horror World Cup failure means the buck not only stops with Stuart Lancaster, but also with his captain. Robshaw is a tough, honest back-row warrior, but he was outclassed by rivals Sam Warburton, Michael Hooper and David Pocock during the defeats against Wales and Australia, and his decision to opt for a line-out, rather than go for three points when England trailed Wales 28-25 in the dying seconds, will forever haunt him.


The whole circus surrounding Burgess was a distraction to England's World Cup campaign. The former rugby league star was rushed into England's World Cup squad after less than a year in the 15-a-side code, and unsurprisingly, he struggled. Lacks so many of the midfield fine arts that are required at Test level. Tough as teak and very physical, but those qualities alone were never going to be enough.


England's acclaimed centre of defensive excellence was found wanting when the heat came on. An integral part of the England team structure, Barritt struggled badly against Wales and Australia, and the fact that those two countries amassed a total of 61 points at Twickenham says everything about how they prospered against an England defence that was unlocked too easily and too frequently.

How to Complain

If you have a complaint about the editorial content of the Belfast Telegraph or Sunday Life then contact the Editor here. If you are not satisfied with the response provided then you can contact the Independent Press Standards Organisation here

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph