4 Oct 2015

England coach, captain consider futures

1:58 pm on 4 October 2015

Stuart Lancaster will consider his future as coach after their crushing defeat by Australia ensured England will be the first main host to fail to reach the knockout stage of rugby's showpiece tournament.

"Yeah, obviously. I think obviously I've got to," Lancaster told reporters in response to a question about his future.

England head coach Stuart Lancaster before the Rugby World Cup Group A game against Australia, Twickenham, London, England 3/10/2015
©INPHO/James Crombie

England head coach Stuart Lancaster Photo: Photosport

"It's not one for now. We've still got another week to go. We have to go up to Manchester and put in a good performance against Uruguay," he added, referring to England's final opponents in Pool A.

Criticised by former players for England's displays on the field, Lancaster has won plaudits for reconnecting the national side with its fan base after a poor tournament in New Zealand in 2011.

He urged the country not to turn on a young England team that was comprehensively out-thought and out-fought over the 80 minutes, going down to Australia 33-13 in front of their home fans, some of whom started leaving well before the end.

"It's important that the country stays behind them. For 24 of them it's their first World Cup," Lancaster said.

"And a lot of them are going to go on and be great players."

Lancaster, who was also booed by sections of the crowd during a pitch-side interview after the game, conceded his team appeared to lack the killer instinct, having come up short against Australia after losing to Wales 28-25.

"It was a tough pool and we put ourselves in a real tough position by losing that game last week and that was a small margin and big consequence in hindsight," Lancaster sad.

Chris Robshaw of England looks dejected with team mates after their loss to Australia.

Chris Robshaw of England looks dejected with team mates after their loss to Australia. Photo: Getty

Wales and Australia will now do battle for the top of Pool A - dubbed the group of death because it included three of the top-ranked sides in he world.

Rubbing salt into English wounds, that match will take place on Sunday at Twickenham, the home of English rugby.

The job's not over yet for the Australians - the Wallabies will meet Wales next weekend to determine who will finish top of pool A, and secure a much easier passage through to a possible final.

Whoever wins will likely avoid South Africa and New Zealand until the decider, should they get that far.

England make unwanted history

Sunday's defeat meant England became the first former winners of the Webb Ellis Cup to fail to make the quarter-finals.

England captain Chris Robshaw, whose own performances and leadership have come under fire from rugby commentators, said he too would be considering his future.

"I think this week we're going to have to answer some tough questions. At the moment we're extremely gutted. Myself and the other players, we feel we let a lot of people down today, let the country down," Robshaw said.

"Credit to Australia, I think the better team probably won, they put us under a lot of pressure in all facets of the game really."

- Reuters

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