Stuart Lancaster steps down as England Head Coach
Stuart Lancaster has left his post with England by 'mutual consent' (image via: thetimes.co.uk)

In an unsurprising move, Stuart Lancaster has stood down as England's rugby union Head Coach by 'mutual consent'.

The Rugby World Cup failure has given Lancaster no choice but to resign, despite having a contract through to 2019.

Losses to Australia and Wales at Twickenham saw Lancaster's side knocked out in the group stages for the first time in England's history.

Lancaster takes responsibility for World Cup failure

Lancaster said, "I am obviously extremely saddened to finish the way we did in this World Cup and to step down from the role.

"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."

After beating Fiji in the opener, Lancaster's side then fell apart in the final ten minutes of their match against the Welsh before being outplayed by Australia to end their World Cup hopes.

A number of selection issues clouded the World Cup for England, none bigger than the choice to select Sam Burgess who has now left the sport to return to the South Sydney Rabbitohs after admitting he always felt like 'a league player in union.'

Lack of silverware clouds solid progress under Lancaster

Following the disastrous 2011 World Cup, change was needed in the England Rugby team, and Lancaster was chosen as the man to lead.

In his four Six Nations Championships, Lancaster failed to win the tournament, yet was only second on points difference over the past two championships.

Bedding in youngsters such as George Ford and Anthony Watson had given England fans renewed hope with the side showing a new attacking free-spirit during the 2015 Six Nations.

This went out of the window during the World Cup, with Ford dropped to the bench for both of the defeats, and the decision by Lancaster to play a defensivel minded midfield, going against all of the good work earlier in the year.

Lancaster added, "I would like to thank the players, coaches, management and everyone at the RFU for their commitment, support and hard work in my time as head coach.

"But most of all, I would like to thank the England rugby fans, who have always backed us and given us amazing support."

The recruitment process to find the new Head Coach has started immediately with the likes of Eddie Jones and Sir Clive Woodward linked with the post.

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