England's coaches take another hit

LONDON • England's Rugby World Cup campaign has lurched into further trouble with coaches Andy Farrell and Graham Rowntree banned from the dressing room for their final game against Uruguay last night.

Stuart Lancaster's future as head coach is also looking increasingly bleak, with the Rugby Football Union forced to deny it is approaching potential candidates to succeed him.

Farrell and Rowntree were found guilty of breaching tournament regulations during England's 33-13 Pool A defeat by Australia last weekend.

They admitted approaching the referee in the tunnel and were banned from entering the changing room before, during or after the Uruguay game.

It is understood they were annoyed at the lack of action taken against Michael Hooper for his aggressive clear-out of full-back Mike Brown, an offence for which the flanker was later cited and then banned for a week.

Farrell's conduct was described as aggressive and his claim that the incident was insignificant was dismissed by Graham Mew, the independent judicial officer, who reprimanded both coaches and the RFU.

Farrell and Rowntree, along with the RFU, have also been warned about their future conduct. It is another dent to an English coaching team already gutted by their side's inability to make it to the knock-out stages.

The beginning of the end of Lancaster's tenure as England's head coach is due to be set in motion this week. The RFU is set to announce details of a review into the host nation's early exit.

The union has denied reports in South Africa suggesting it had been in touch with former Springbok coach Nick Mallett.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 11, 2015, with the headline 'England's coaches take another hit'. Print Edition | Subscribe