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ANDY GOMARSALL: Catastrophic defeat leaves England needing a major post-mortem

Andy Gomarsall.
Andy Gomarsall.

It was a catastrophic loss for England against Australia, and time will be needed to dissect why and how the host nation have exited the World Cup so early on.

It was mixed emotions for me, because as a spectacle and commentating on the game I have to say it was a fantastic performance by Australia.

We saw the impact of having specialists in their positions, and David Pocock and Michael Hooper were both just outstanding.

Bernard Foley at number 10 did everything at the right time, and the speed play from the Wallabies will certainly worry the rest of the teams left in this year’s World Cup.

It will also worry England, the fact that they could not get to that speed, and even though they dominated the stats they were unable to put the scoreline in their favour.

I’m gutted for the England players who unfortunately were just not good enough on the night, and the big question now is does Stuart survive?

There have been glowing tributes to him this week about him as an individual and what he’s done for English rugby since he took over.

He’s got some pride back but being out of the World Cup in the pool stage with one game still to go is catastrophic.

Stuart has held his hands up and he takes responsibility for it, but really there needs to be a post-mortem done. It’s going to take some time, but it has got to be in-depth.

We really need to look at English rugby because there is so much talent and question marks, and I agree with a lot that has been said in the fallout from the weekend.

Question marks will be raised over the selection. England kind of got lost in that selection and I was hugely supportive in the brave calls that were made for each game.

But there were a few contradictions in the selection, and the key to any success is getting the right people in the right positions, and for England that did not happen.

Whether Lancaster wants to stay on and can stay on, there needs to be a huge amount of support from us and the vision for the next four years needs to be clearly outlined.

Many people have pointed out England’s World Cup win in 2003 and how Sir Clive Woodward turned it around following a quarter-final exit in the competition in 1999.

For Lancaster and his England team to repeat that success in Japan in four years time, a huge amount of work will need to be done, and it seems a lot more investment will need to be added.

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