BREAKING: Lancaster steps down as England Rugby coach

Stuart Lancaster
Stuart Lancaster
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Stuart Lancaster has stepped down as England head coach by mutual consent, the Rugby Football Union has announced.

Stuart Lancaster's statement in full.

"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. 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 Rugby World Cup in Japan in 2019, where I believe their recent experience will make them genuine contenders.

"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 team feels a close connection with everyone across the grassroots game, which has been important to us all."

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