LONDON – England rugby bosses insisted on Sunday there would be no “hasty reaction” as to coach Stuart Lancaster’s future after the team’s World Cup exit at the hands of Australia.
“World Rugby is investigating an alleged breach by the England coaching team of the match-day communications protocol between match officials and team members or union officials during the match between England and Australia“, a World Rugby Statement read.
Gatland pulled no punches in his assessment of the group.
“It was always our plan to make the quarter-finals”.
But flyhalf Bernard Foley orchestrated England’s demise, scoring all but five of Australia’s points.
Wales will be able to play with more freedom against Australia at Twickenham on Saturday.
The Wallabies have won their last 10 Tests against Wales but Gatland said the way in which his injury-hit side had reached the last eight was a warning to those who had written them off.
“It’s just about improving each day”.
“It’s not just the group of death, it’s the group of hell”, he said.
“We should be, as a country, winning more, in terms of whether it’s Grand Slams or Six Nations Championships”.
“We all feel a sense of disappointment at what’s happened and we owe it to ourselves to do it but we must look at it a calm manner”.
“It was outrageously loud (at Twickenham) and we wanted to get stuck in from the start”.
Stuart Lancaster’s side did reduce the deficit when Anthony Watson bulldozed over the line with 25 minutes to play and a penalty from Owen Farrell had the crowd on their feet, but Australia ultimately proved too canny.
“Stuart Lancaster is a hugely likeable guy and he has done a very, very good job and that has to be kept in mind, but you have to take a step back because this is not a personal judgement on whether you like the guy or not”. You’ve got to try to be consistent.
“Some of the stuff went pretty well for us and I guess it’s important now to get back to the drawing board on Monday and get ready for Wales“.
Henry said England had moved so far from their traditional strengths in trying to mimic New Zealand’s free-flowing style that the Wallabies overwhelmed their once-renowned scrum.
Flanker Victor Vito was impressed by Australia’s tearaway backrow forwards David Pocock and Michael Hooper who are taking the fetching role – once ruled by All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw – to a new level.
The double try-scorer said it had been one of the best ever team performances.
“It’s definitely up there and we can take a lot of confidence out of that for next week” against Wales.
Despite being laballed as an “all or nothing” tie, England can still qualify if they draw this evening, though they would have to rely on results going their way elsewhere in Pool A.
“For me it made it a lot easier, but I didn’t think it would go that well”.