Damning England World Cup reports leaked

 

Lewis Moody today admitted he made mistakes as England captain during the World Cup but insisted he never put commercial gain before his rugby.

Moody has reportedly been criticised by England's elite rugby director Rob Andrew for leading a senior player delegation that disputed the squad's World Cup payments.

The 33-year-old Bath flanker is also criticised by one unnamed team-mate for having too much contact with his agent during the tournament and setting the wrong example.

The criticisms of Moody were contained in two of the three reports into England's disastrous World Cup campaign that have been leaked to The Times.

Moody said in a statement: "I put my body on the line for the lads, the team and England every time I played and anyone who has watched me play knows that I give everything on the field and have always prioritised rugby ahead of everything else, including financial reward."

Rugby Players' Association chief Damian Hopley has demanded an investigation to track down the source of the leaked confidential World Cup reports.

In a hard-hitting statement, Hopley said: "I am absolutely devastated that our RPA members' trust has been so publicly betrayed.

"Players voluntarily took part in these interviews and gave their honest and frank assessment of England's Rugby World Cup Campaign.

"The aim was to be completely open and transparent, and players should be respected for refusing to shy away from some of the problems encountered.

"Players were critical of themselves, of the coaching team and of the RFU and its leadership. Their determination was for everyone to be accountable and take responsibility for the disappointing showing in the Rugby World Cup.

"Many comments were understandably robust because they knew England had not performed as they could have and the players are committed to getting things right for the future.

"Our players were assured that their feedback would be totally confidential, and yet no sooner has the report been sent to the Board Members than it appears in a national newspaper.

Hopley continued: "If England wants to regain its status as a respected rugby nation, it is imperative that we stop the rot at the top of the game and show some much needed integrity. What example does this set to the game? It is an absolute disgrace.

"It was the lack of faith in the system and process being confidential that saw many players shy away from completing the RFU questionnaires in the first place and, perhaps not surprisingly, their mistrust has been proven to be correct.

"We cannot ignore that once again there has been a serious breach of confidentiality.

"We are demanding a detailed investigation to track down the source of the leak and deal appropriately with that person. If we are serious about destroying the porous culture in our game, then we need to introduce tougher security measures to weed out these self-serving people once and for all."

Moody contined: "Captaining England was, and remains, the ultimate honour for me and I accepted that honour knowing all the scrutiny that came with it.

"I am confident I did the job to the absolute best of my ability but if some of the players thought that was not enough I will have to learn to live with that.

"I have always been my own fiercest critic and have already been honest that there were some things I wish I had done differently at the World Cup, but I have learnt from the experience and hope others can do the same.

"I have only ever undertaken personal commercial activities in my own time and I'm comfortable I got that balance right at all times.

"Where I had to be involved in commercial conversations with the RFU it was as captain, working with the RPA, representing the best interests of the players, not for any personal gain. I do not think anyone who knows me would think differently."

The Times today published details of the confidential reports compiled by the RFU, the RPA, who surveyed players anonymously, and the Aviva Premiership clubs.

Andrew is reported to have written in the RFU report: "Some of the senior players were more focused on money rather than getting the rugby right."

One player is reported to have reacted to England's quarter-final defeat to France by saying: "There's £35k just gone down the toilet".

Hardly anyone escapes the review with their reputations intact.

The coaching regime, other than scrum specialist Graham Rowntree, comes in for strong criticism.

England were eventually beaten by France in the quarter-finals, equalling their worst performance in a World Cup after a campaign dogged by controversy.

Team manager Martin Johnson is reportedly criticised for failing to instil discipline following a series of off-field incidents, with one unnamed player quoted as saying "he was too loyal and that was his downfall".

The reports leaked to The Times were never intended to be published. The Professional Game Board, which runs elite rugby in England, are due to make recommendations based on the reports' conclusions to the RFU management board on November 30.

Moody was also angry the players' confidentiality was betrayed by the leak which he believes was done for "political purposes".

But he warned all parties - the RFU, the players' union and the clubs - not to allow this to distract them from the main purpose of the reports, which is to improve the England team.

"Once again it is deeply disappointing to see players' feedback aimed at improving England rugby, and which we were promised would remain confidential and anonymous, being put in the public domain for political purposes," Moody said.

"The next few months will be vital for the English rugby and I hope the opportunity is seized to use player feedback for positive change not negative recriminations and political games.

"I have retired from England and am now focused on Bath Rugby and playing my rugby in the same way I always have with passion and commitment. It is time we looked forward not back."

PA

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
The cast of The Big Bang Theory in a still from the show
tvBig Bang Theory filming delayed by contract dispute over actors' pay
Sport
England celebrate a wicket for Moeen Ali
sportMoeen Ali stars with five wickets as Cook's men level India series
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
News
Robyn Lawley
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
News
people
News
i100  ... he was into holy war way before it was on trend
Life and Style
lifeDon't get caught up on climaxing
Life and Style
food + drinkVegetarians enjoy food as much as anyone else, writes Susan Elkin
Arts and Entertainment
Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) and Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint)
newsBloomsbury unveils new covers for JK Rowling's wizarding series
News
scienceScientists try to explain the moon's funny shape
Sport
Usain Bolt confirms he will run in both the heats and the finals of the men's relay at the Commonwealth Games
commonwealth games
News
peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
Life and Style
Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson voice the show’s heroes
gamingOnce stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
As Loki in The Avengers (2012)
filmRead Tom Hiddleston's email to Joss Whedon on prospect of playing Loki
Voices
voices In defence of the charcoal-furred feline, by Felicity Morse
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star