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England World Cup Reports Leaked in National Press

Newspaper releases details of about the squad's time in New Zealand

Posted Nov 24, 2011 by Chris White

Rob Andrew is one of the key men to be criticised in recent weeks

A UK national newspaper has released details of a comprehensive report into what happened regarding the England squad at the recent World Cup in New Zealand, revealing that several players were “more focused on money than the rugby.”

The report, compiled by the Rugby Football Union (RFU), the Premiership clubs and the Rugby Players’ Association (RPA), who interviewed the squad anonymously for their views on what went on both on and off the field in New Zealand, with many senior players disputing the amount of money that the squad were being paid during the tournament.

Former coach Martin Johnson and his coaching staff are also criticised in the report, with players allegedly giving negative views on the leadership and training methods employed by the coaches. The newspaper also claims that Johnson was partly to blame for the poor behaviour on the tour, having “failed to instil discipline in the squad following a series of off-field incidents,” while one player said that he was “too loyal and that was his downfall.”

RFU Elite Director of Rugby Rob Andrew, pictured, is critical of the players disputing the payments they would have received, with Andrew quoted in the leaked report as saying “some of the players were focused on money rather than getting the rugby right. It led to meetings with the RFU executives in the last few weeks before the squad left for New Zealand, which was disrupting for the squad. It’s very disappointing.”

The chairman of the Professional Game Board (PGB), Ian Metcalfe, has released a statement saying that he is “disappointed and frustrated” that the reports had been leaked into the public. “All involved were promised that their views would remain private,” he said, “with the ultimate goal of improving the England team,” he added.

It’s yet another problem for the RFU in particular to have to deal with, along with finding a suitable replacement for Johnson who walked away from the position of head coach last week.

Watch the recent press conference in which Martin Johnson gives his reasons for resigning as manager of the England team:

Is it now time for wholesale changes at the RFU so they can start afresh? Give us your thoughts here, on Twitter @ImagineRugby and on Facebook by clicking here.

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