Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Lancaster to consider future after England go out of World Cup

Stuart Lancaster has admitted he will consider resigning after England crashed out of the World Cup with a crushing 33-13 defeat to Australia.

England became the worst-performing host nation in World Cup history thanks to a record home defeat to the Wallabies, inspired by fly-half Bernard Foley.

When asked if he would reconsider his position, Lancaster said: "Yeah, obviously I think I've got to.

"It's not just going to be my decision.

"We've still got another week to go.

"My priority is to get the team ready for Uruguay.

"It's not up to me what happens elsewhere, so we've still got a lot of work to do.

"The responsibility and accountability lies with me, so clearly."

Captain Chris Robshaw conceded his leadership role will also come under scrutiny moving forward, even though England must now face Uruguay next weekend in a dead rubber.

England cannot now reach the quarter-finals, while Australia's victory ensures they progress to the last eight, with Wales qualifying too.

"I think this week we're going to have to answer some really tough questions," said Robshaw.

England will now face Uruguay at Old Trafford next Saturday, in what will prove an almost completely futile exercise.

The host nation should overwhelm the team of part-timers, and once that is done and dusted, Lancaster will be forced to address his own situation.

The England head coach signed a six-year contract extension in late 2014, but Rugby Football Union (RFU) chief executive Ian Ritchie has previously admitted review facilities are built into that deal.

Lancaster can surely not survive England's abysmal and abject failure at their home World Cup, so all that seems left is to discover whether he jumps before he is pushed.

The former Leeds coach conceded that his side's inability to turn winning positions into victories has cost England their World Cup place.

"Yeah I think that's fair," said Lancaster when asked if England have lacked killer instinct.

"Strip back the emotion and look at the game and I thought the first half was pretty even.

"The score never reflected that.

"There was a crucial scrum penalty that went against us, Australia scored on the back of that and that made it 17-3.

"Take the last 10 minutes aside we played some good stuff.

"I thought Pocock was outstanding on the day.

"At times when we really threatened the Australian line there was a turnover he was involved with.

"And we scored four tries against Fiji, 22-12 up against Wales and couldn't finish the job - so it's a fair point.

"I can't even begin to explain how this feels if I'm being honest.

"Well done to Australia on the win today but from my point of view I'm absolutely gutted to be going out of the World Cup and more so our own World Cup obviously.

"Words can't express how disappointed we are.

"We've had some fantastic supporters and we feel we've let them down.

"But credit to Australia, they deserved the win."

Victorious Australia coach Michael Cheika admitted Lancaster's sticky job situation proved an unhappy by-product of the Wallabies' impressive triumph.

"Our goal is not to put Stuart Lancaster in a difficult position, our goal is to play well and win games so we can try to get through a very difficult pool," said Cheika.

"That's something I'm not involved with and I don't wish that type of difficulty on anyone because I've been there, I've been through tough times. And it's hard, you feel like you want to do more.

"I don't know him very well but he seems like a very genuine guy and he's very proud of what he does. I'm sure he'll bounce back.

"I know it's tough but our intent is certainly not to do that, it was purely to get four points to try to get through the pool."


From Belfast Telegraph