England ‘in a dark place’

Date published: October 6 2015

England coach Stuart Lancaster revealed that the pain from the Australian defeat on Saturday has not yet eased.

England became the first host nation of the Rugby World Cup to crash out before the quarter-finals of the tournament.

Lancaster and captain Chris Robshaw have been at the centre of attention since the loss, which Lancaster is yet to accept.

"We'll never get over it," said the former Leeds player, who is contracted to 2020. 

"We are the host nation, we're out of the World Cup. It hurts deeply and it always will. We scored four tries against Fiji, which the other teams (Wales and Australia) haven’t done and we played some very good rugby. But four tries then and playing well for 60 to 70 minutes is not enough."

However, it is not all doom and gloom for the team, as Lancaster feels the talent pool is big enough for England perform well in the future.

"Clearly we are in a dark place but you have to at some point, as a leader, give everyone a sense of direction and purpose and perspective," added the 45-year-old.

"I 100 per cent believe the group of players I stood in front of yesterday and today will be sat here at Pennyhill for the Six Nations. Some of our most talented players are our youngest players.

"The noise outside the group is huge but internally I've tried to ensure the team stays positive. We've played some very good rugby over the last 12 to 18 months and it's important that the players understand that.

"It's important that they listen to what I say and realise that they have great potential."

Meanwhile, captain Robshaw revealed that the nine changes Lancaster made to the side that will start against Uruguay on Saturday has brought new life into the team.

"The newcomers are putting in a lot of energy," said the Harlequins flanker.

"It's all about putting in a professional job, making sure we train well and prepare well. All the guys are chomping at the bit to play."