Lancaster to consider his position

Date published: October 4 2015

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England head coach Stuart Lancaster and captain Chris Robshaw apologised to the nation after they were knocked out of the Rugby World Cup.

The World Cup hosts were outclassed by Australia across the park at Twickenham, knowing they had to win to stay in the hunt to make the last eight.

Instead they travel to play Uruguay in Manchester with nothing to play for, and will be remembered as the first host nation to fail to make the quarter-finals.

"My priority is to get the team ready. I'm not in control of anything else," Lancaster said.

"Obviously, I've got to consider my position.  It's not going to be my deicsion. We've still got a game to go and need to put in a good performance against Uruguay up in Manchester. As I said during the week, the responsibility lies with me so I will have to think about it.

"We're absolutely gutted to be going out of the World Cup, and more so our own World Cup. Words can't express how disappointed we are. We've had some fantastic support and we feel like we've let them down.

"Credit to Australia. I thought they were probably one of the best sides we've played in the last 12 to 18 months and they deserved the win.

"I spoke to the players and just told them that there's a lot of good young players in that team, and it's important that the country stays behind them. A lot of them are going to go on to be great players. It shouldn't take away what we've done in the last three and a half years. We've not lost many big games and certainly not by that margin."

Australia's clear dominance at the breakdown, where David Pocock was the star, prompted questions to the England coach about the RFU's policy on overseas players which has denied Lancaster the chance to work with Steffon Armitage.

"It's a conversation we've had time and time again," he stated.

"The RFU have the policy and will stick with it because of the long-term situation of having the best English players in England. Australia have two world class players in the position and I'd say Pocock is arguably the best in the world."

Lancaster has been praised for rebuilding England's image off the field and he hopes that the good work put in won't unravel on the back of England's exit, or that the Rugby World Cup would suffer without the host nation involved in the last eight.

He explained: "I hope it won't undo the work done off the field. When the emotion dies down there's still a fantastic group of young players who will go on to become great players. It was a tough pool and we put ouselves in a tough position with that loss last week to Wales.

"I still think this will be the best ever Rugby World Cup. Too many good people have put too much work in.

"For us, I can't even begin to explain how it feels to go out. The other countries will continue to play well and the crowds will come to support, because that's what we do."

England's problems at the scrum were clear throughout but Lancaster had no issues with the refereeing, although he singled out a key call against his side which led to Bernard Foley's second try.

Such was the Wallabies' dominance that Lancaster admitted they can go far in the competition.

He explained: "During the game there were some scrum penalties which went our way and some didn't. There are no complaints about that area, Australia have clearly improved. We put our replacements on and we hoped to improve the situation, but they didn't.

"They've got 700 or 800 caps and that experienced showed. That scrum penalty was a crucial turning point and gave us a mountain to climb.

"They can win the Rugby World Cup based on that performance. Their scrums and breakdown were good, they played with good width and they have some world class players."

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