England tactics dossier found in Ireland team hotel
October 12, 2011
England manager Martin Johnson will have been dismayed to find out top secret training notes were found in a hotel © Getty Images
England's failed Rugby World Cup campaign has been hit by fresh controversy with the news that top secret tactical notes were misplaced during the tournament.
The Times reports that a dossier of sensitive briefing notes containing codes and on-field training drills turned up at Ireland's team hotel in Wellington earlier this month - 300 miles from England's training base in Dunedin. The two sides were on course to meet in the final four until they were both beaten in last weekend's quarter-finals.
The documents are believed to have gone missing while England were staying in Dunedin where they played their first three pool games. The newspaper also published pictures including one of an A3 sheet of paper headed 'The Big Picture' with four bullet points reading '1. Completion', '2. Discipline', '3.Tempo' and '4. Relentless'.
Another sheet carrying the heading 'Red Zone' had the words 'Adapt if required' marked with an asterisk at the bottom. Other papers include instructions for the back row and back three, including code words seemingly taken from the Ultimate Fighting Championship, which some of the England players admitted to watching during their time-off in New Zealand.
When asked about the security lapse, an England spokesman told the newspaper: "They seem to be totally irrelevant so probably best just to bin them."
England's campaign was plagued by a series of controversies including an infamous night out in Queenstown, suspensions for players Courtney Lawes and Delon Armitage and coaches Dave Alred and Paul Stridgeon and fines for centre Manu Tuilagi.
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