The Rugby Football Union have launched an investigation into the leaking of three confidential and damning reports into England's World Cup campaign.
Detailed contents from the reviews undertaken by the RFU, the Rugby Players' Association and the Aviva Premiership clubs appeared across eight pages in The Times yesterday.
The reports contain quotes from RFU elite rugby director Rob Andrew and unnamed players which paint the picture of a disunited squad, riven by a lack of trust under the leadership of a management team out of their depth.
Some players are accused, both by Andrew and their team-mates, of being more concerned with their earning potential than their rugby.
The RFU's disciplinary chief judge, Jeff Blackett, is set to appoint an independent investigator to take charge of the inquiry and deliver his findings within two weeks.
An RFU statement read: “Following today's serious breach of confidentiality regarding Rugby World Cup reports to the Professional Game Board, the Rugby Football Union will investigate fully and, if appropriate, take disciplinary action.
“The investigation will be carried out expediently by an independent external firm.”
Furious RPA chief executive Damian Hopley described the leaking of the documents, which were never intended for publication, as an “absolute disgrace”.
The RPA report includes some damning criticism of England's failings at the World Cup, which Hopley had collected from the players on condition of anonymity.
While all the player quotes remain unattributed, Hopley said: “I am absolutely devastated that our RPA members' trust has been so publicly betrayed.