THREE LEAKED REPORTS into England’s calamitous Rugby World Cup have accused the country’s stars of being more concerned about “cash and caps” than results and coach Martin Johnson of lacking “the bollocks to take action” on the squad’s late-night partying.
Published by the Times this morning, the damning reports — penned by RFU director of elite rugby Rob Andrew, the players’ union, and the professional clubs as part of an internal review — highlight unthinkable disunity and division within the troubled English camp.
The most scathing comments feature in the anonymous players’ review which is highly critical of the squad’s commitment at the tournament, the suitability of team captain Lewis Moody, and the competence of a number of Johnson’s coaches.
One of the more shocking revelations focuses on an unnamed senior player who is accused of being more concerned about the financial implications of England’s quarter-final defeat against France than by the team’s exit from the tournament.
To hear one senior player in the changing room say straight after the quarter-final defeat ‘There’s £35k just gone down the toilet’ made me feel sick. Money shouldn’t even come into a player’s mind.
Johnson — who resigned as England manager last week — was also heavily criticised, particularly in relation to his handling of Mike Tindall’s late-night revelry and the Dwarfgate controversy in Queenstown.
We just wanted Johno to have the bollocks to take action, especially after the Tindall night. He was too loyal and that was his downfall.
The report also slams Moody who is said to have unsettled the team by stirring up negotiations over commercial fees and player payments.