Stuart Lancaster has stepped down as England head coach following their disastrous World Cup campaign.
England failed to escape the Pool of Death after losing to Wales and the Wallabies at Twickenham.
Lancaster was appointed full-time in April 2012 and guided England to second place in all of the past four Six Nations tournaments. He achieved 28 wins in 46 Tests (54% win rate).
'I am obviously extremely saddened to finish the way we did in this World Cup and to step down from the role,' said Lancaster. 'As I have always said, I ultimately accept and take responsibility for the team's performance and we have not delivered the results we all hoped for during this tournament. I did, however, want to take part in the review to ensure I understood the views of others before making a decision. The reality is that, while many aspects of the review were very positive, we didn’t achieve success on the field when it mattered and we all have to take responsibility for that but me especially as head coach.
'I took on the role in difficult circumstances and it has been a huge challenge to transition the team with many hurdles along the way. However, I am immensely proud of the development of this team and I know that there is an incredibly strong foundation for them to progress to great things in the future. We have played some excellent rugby and it was always going to be tough to get the right level of experience into them in time for 2015. It is a young group of players with the huge majority available for the World Cup in Japan in 2019, where I believe their recent experience will make them genuine contenders.'
Meanwhile, the RFU confirmed that the new head coach will continue to report to CEO Ian Ritchie, who will now lead the process for recruitment.
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