Key points from leaked reports
November 23, 2011
Martin Johnson's role comes in for criticism in the leaked reports © Getty Images
Three official and confidential reports, leaked to The Times newspaper, have given a greater insight into England's World Cup debacle. Here ESPNscrum highlights the key points made in the documents:
Appeared to dominate the background off the field. According to The Times, Rob Andrew, the RFU's director of elite rugby, said in one report: "It is very disappointing that a senior group, led by the captain Lewis Moody, disputed the level of payment for the World Cup squad." Andrew said players threatened to boycott a send-off dinner, said the dispute was "unsettling" and "some of the senior players were more focused on money than getting the rugby right".
After being knocked out by France, one player reported another as saying: "There's £35,000 just gone down the toilet."
Players, speaking anonymously, criticised the England manager for failing to address the incidents of indiscipline off the field culminating in the infamous night out involving Mike Tindall. One player said of Johnson: "He's incredibly loyal. We just wanted Johnno to have the b******s to take action, especially after the Tindall night. He was too loyal and that was his downfall."
Training hard in pre-season was seen as "not cool" by some players, it has been claimed. Younger players showing too much enthusiasm for training were mocked by older ones for being too keen. Players criticised the training regime for being poor. Training was mentally draining and lacked focus on fitness and speed. The training base at Bagshot was said to be luxurious accommodation but with substandard training facilities including a poor pitch.
Attack coach Brian Smith is the subject of damning criticism in the report. Also criticised are Mike Ford, the defence coach, and John Wells, the forwards coach. At one stage, scrum-half Ben Youngs and Toby Flood took over some coaching, said one player. Scrum coach Graham Rowntree is the only coach who received universal praise.
The players criticised the security staff they were given and one said that the SAS-trained staff they had had in 2003 and 2007 "got us into minibuses and made sure we weren't in any compromising situations".
An "us and them" siege mentality existed between the players and the press, with media officers panicking when news broke of the drunken night out involving Tindall and other senior players.
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