Monday, 5 September 2016

England Review Ends Lancaster Tenure

Stuart Lancaster has left his post as England coach following the team's early exit from the World Cup.

England became the first host nation to be eliminated in the group stages when they lost matches to Wales and Australia in Pool A.

"I ultimately accept and take responsibility for the team's performance," said Lancaster.

Lancaster, 46, was made permanent coach in 2012 and won 28 of his 46 games, but failed to win the Six Nations.

"I took on the role in difficult circumstances and it has been a huge challenge to transition the team with many hurdles along the way," he added.

"However, I am immensely proud of the development of this team and I know that there is an incredibly strong foundation for them to progress to great things in the future.

"We have played some excellent rugby and it was always going to be tough to get the right level of experience into them in time for 2015. It is a young group of players with the huge majority available for the World Cup in Japan in 2019, where I believe their recent experience will make them genuine contenders."

Lancaster has won 28 (61%) and drawn one of his 46 Tests, losing 17

A review into England performance at the World Cup took place after the tournament, with Rugby Football Union chief executive Ian Ritchie stating that Lancaster agreed he should step down from his role.

''The Rugby World Cup was hugely disappointing for everyone associated with the England team and the subsequent review into the team's performance was always intended to be extremely comprehensive, which it has been," said Ritchie.

"Following the review, Stuart and I met, where we agreed that he should step down as head coach. This was subsequently ratified by the RFU board."

He added: "Despite the results during this World Cup he has much to be proud of, and has embedded a new group of players that will be representing England for a long time to come. Looking forward, we will leave no stone unturned to ensure England achieves sustained success in the future."

There is no word yet from the RFU on the future of Lancaster's coaching team of Andy Farrell, Graham Rowntree and Mike Catt. The full World Cup review will be presented to an RFU board meeting on 17 November.

The search will then begin for a replacement for Lancaster in time for next year's Six Nations.

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