RFU won’t make hasty decision

RFU Chief Executive Ian Ritchie has confirmed there will be no hasty reaction to England's exit from the Rugby World Cup following defeats to Wales and Australia.

Speaking a day after the 33-13 loss to Australia, which means England can not not qualify from Pool A, Ritchie said attention would now focus on delivering a great Rugby World Cup as hosts and on creating a real legacy for the sport in England.

“Both as RFU Chief Executive and as a lifetime supporter of the England team I speak for so many by saying how disappointed we are at the losses to Wales and Australia, where hopes were so high that we could achieve something special," he said.

"I would like to stress, however, that there will be no hasty reaction to England’s performance in this Rugby World Cup.

"Lessons will be learnt from the results and they will be found in a calm, clear, rational and thorough manner in the fullness of time post tournament.

"Developing professional teams capable of securing international success has always been, and continues to be, a key imperative in the RFU’s Strategic Plan. In the short term however the England team has a game to prepare for against Uruguay and everyone will give them their full support.

“Meanwhile, we will continue to deliver on the other essential elements of our strategy: delivering the most inspiring and successful Rugby World Cup ever; connecting with new and existing audiences and achieving a lasting legacy for the sport, while growing rugby in England.

“Rugby World Cup 2015 is attracting record numbers in stadia and Fanzones and through broadcast and social engagement.  Record-breaking engagement halfway through the Pool stage saw approaching 1 million at matches, almost 400,000 enjoying the official Fanzones, and Festival of Rugby events around the country heading towards the one thousand mark.

“This is set to be the biggest world tournament to date, over a million people have so far seen games live, and I have no doubt that our investment of time and resources in creating a lasting legacy will see a step change in rugby enjoyment and participation across the country.”

RFU Chairman and former England captain Bill Beaumont stressed the players would be hurting more than anyone.

“While acknowledging the deep disappointment of all connected with rugby union in England and especially our incredibly supportive fans, results in any major sporting contest are unpredictable, no matter the effort or endeavour involved," he said.

“I am sure that our loyal England supporters will stay behind the team and their management as they head into the match with Uruguay. 

"This is a group of young men who care deeply about representing their nation and their fans. Nobody will be hurting more than they are and, while they will expect an inevitable reaction, knowing that the rugby family is still there for them will really matter.”