‘Lancaster let me down’ – Burrell

Date published: November 25 2015

Northampton centre Luther Burrell has revealed he felt "let down" by coach Stuart Lancaster when he left him out of England's Rugby World Cup squad.

Burrell, who was a regular for England during the 2014 and 2015 Six Nations tournaments, missed out on Lancaster's 31-man squad for the global showpiece in favour of fellow midfielders Henry Slade and Sam Burgess.

Lancaster resigned from his position after England failed to reach the World Cup's knockout stages and was replaced by Australian Eddie Jones.

But Burrell couldn't hide his disappointment after he missed out on World Cup selection.

"He let me down," he said. 

"That is how I feel about him. I have known Stuart a long time. I have a huge amount of respect for the bloke, what he's done and what he has achieved.

"I didn't think I had done anything to justify not getting selected. That was one of the most heart-breaking things, because I had trained well throughout the summer and I played well in the jersey."

Burrell said he expected to be dropped from the squad when he entered Lancaster's office on August 27, the day England's final squad was announced.

"As soon as I walked through the door I knew, I could feel it in the air, I could see it in his face," he added.

"I just kind of sat there in silence, just let him speak and he told me. I just got up and left, trying to hold back my emotion, but I found that very difficult.

"He said the coaches had had a chat and said, 'I thought you trained really well but we're going with Sam. Don't think this is the end for you. You will be back'.

"Mentally, I was gone. I was broken. I was the one who was pretty broken down in that room."