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RFU chief Bill Beaumont: England must put Wales defeat behind them quickly

Published 27/09/2015

Chris Robshaw's late call against Wales failed to pay off as England suffered a damaging defeat
Chris Robshaw's late call against Wales failed to pay off as England suffered a damaging defeat

Rugby Football Union chairman Bill Beaumont has called upon the nation to get behind Chris Robshaw and the rest of the England team after Saturday's dramatic defeat to Wales at the World Cup.

In the closing moments of the contest, captain Robshaw decided his side would kick for touch and launch an attacking line-out instead of taking a penalty shot at goal that could have levelled the score, but the gamble failed as Wales held firm for a 28-25 victory.

Hosts England now face a crunch clash with Australia next Saturday as they bid to keep their campaign alive.

And Beaumont told BBC 5 Live's Sportsweek programme on Sunday morning: "You have to look at how well Wales played as opposed to just pointing the finger at England.

"If you look back at a week in which the Japanese had exactly the same position (opting not to take a penalty for a potential draw, against South Africa), they went on to win the match.

"Obviously Chris Robshaw was confident in the way he thought England had been playing - they had played well - and that they would score the try.

"Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but as captain he felt that was the right decision.

"You have to back him. He obviously had the conversation with his players.

"But I think it is important now for the English rugby public to get behind Chris and the rest of the team for what is going to be a tough game against Australia."

Beaumont added: "There's no point looking back now - you can't do anything about changing what happened last night, but you can do something about what will happen next week.

"Australia have some outstanding players. But I am always confident when we play at home - whenever we do, I expect us to win, and I hope we do."

There was major focus in the build-up to Saturday's game on England boss Stuart Lancaster's call to bring Owen Farrell and Sam Burgess into the team.

Farrell replaced George Ford, whose father Mike has suggested Lancaster erred in selecting a team "not to lose" and urged him not to make the same mistake for the Australia match.

The former England coach said: "For me, he has to pick a team to win - I think the selection this weekend was a team not to lose, but we have to throw everything at Australia.

"He has to put confidence in the team and give them to courage to go out and play. He has to pick an attacking team.

"When I was with England, one of the things we got wrong was picking a competitive team not to lose, and you don't win anything - ultimately you don't win the big prizes.

"I think it is a negative approach, and it is something I learned during my time with England."

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