Lancaster reveals RWC 'tears'

2015-08-28 06:52
Stuart Lancaster (AFP)

London - England coach Stuart Lancaster revealed he had shed tears while coming to a decision over the final composition of his 31-man Rugby World Cup squad, made public on Thursday.

Lancaster, who made his name as an age-group coach, had known the likes of centre Luther Burrell and back-row Calum Clark since they were promising schoolboy players in Leeds yet found himself omitting both men when he named tournament hosts England's final World Cup party.

Burrell was, in the opinion of many pundits, desperately unlucky to miss out given he had been an ever-present in England's last two Six Nations campaigns while rugby league convert, Sam Burgess, who effectively deprived him of a midfield spot, has played just 70 minutes of international rugby union.

Asked if there had been tears and tantrums from players when informed they had not been selected, Lancaster said: "Just by me. No tantrums, just tears."

He added that telling Burrell he had missed out had been "very, very hard".

"I won't go into more detail than that," Lancaster said.

"You could say the same thing about Calum. We go back to when he was 14 years old and I remember his parents driving him down to West Park.

"I remember Luther's mum and dad. I know them really well. It's tough.

"In the same breath: how proud did I feel when Calum Clark got his first cap?

"That's the nature of being head coach. You've got to make tough decisions and you've got to make decisions you feel are right for the team."

Also sidelined was former Melbourne Rebels flyhalf Danny Cipriani.

The 27-year-old Sale playmaker pressed his claims by coming off the bench to inspire an England rally in a 25-20 defeat by France in Paris last weekend.

However, he was behind George Ford and Owen Farrell in the England fly-half pecking order, with Mike Brown and Alex Goode ahead of him in the list of England full-backs.

Not given a Test start by Lancaster, Cipriani accepted his omission by tweeting: "Of course I would have liked more time to state my case and am very disappointed not to make the squad."

He added: "It's just the start of my journey. I'm going to stay fit and be ready if I'm called upon. Now that the call has been made let's just all get behind the team and back the 31. Full of world-class players! World Cup in England! Let's be proud Englishmen and back it!"

England World Cup squad

Backs (14)

Back three: Mike Brown (Harlequins), Alex Goode (Saracens), Jonny May (Gloucester), Jack Nowell (Exeter), Anthony Watson (Bath)

Centres: Brad Barritt (Saracens), Sam Burgess (Bath), Jonathan Joseph (Bath), Henry Slade (Exeter)

Flyhalves: Owen Farrell (Saracens), George Ford (Bath)

Scrumhalves: Danny Care (Harlequins), Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens), Ben Youngs (Leicester)

Forwards (17)

Back-rows: James Haskell (Wasps), Ben Morgan (Gloucester), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins, capt), Billy Vunipola (Saracens) Tom Wood (Northampton)

Second-rows: George Kruis (Saracens), Joe Launchbury (Wasps), Courtney Lawes (Northampton), Geoff Parling (Exeter)

Props: Kieran Brookes (Northampton), Dan Cole (Leicester), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), David Wilson (Bath)

Hookers: Jamie George (Saracens), Rob Webber (Bath), Tom Youngs (Leicester)

Read more on:    england  |  rwc 2015  |  stuart lancaster  |  rugby

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