Departing England coach Mike Ford hurt by criticism


Mike Ford is preparing to leave his role with the Rugby Football Union on good terms, although he admits to being hurt by the leaked criticism that was directed at him in the wake of the World Cup.

The defence coach was heavily chastised by the players when they were asked to review why the tournament was such a failure, with feedback that made its way into the media mocking some of his methods.

With the RFU finally completing their internal overhaul with the appointment of Ian Ritchie as their new chief executive this week, the departure of Ford, who was an assistant to former manager Martin Johnson, is one of the last remaining pieces of business.

And although he will leave Twickenham with a heavy heart owing to the criticism he faced, he has not closed the door on offering advice to the new-look coaching team of Stuart Lancaster, Andy Farrell and Graham Rowntree.

"I have no regrets and bear no hard feelings towards the RFU," the 46-year-old told the Daily Telegraph.

"I hope England go out and win the Six Nations. I have spoken to Stuart and Andy Farrell to offer up information I have on Scotland from the World Cup, if they would like to sit down and talk.

"They have said they will and I hope they do well."

On having seen his abilities called into question in the leaked report, he added: "I was disappointed they (the players) didn't feel they could come face to face with me and discuss the issues during the World Cup.

"That's what disappointed me the most.

"I felt we had an environment where people could do that. For a few days, I went through all sorts of emotions; embarrassment, anger and vengeance. I thought I had a relationship with all the players where they trusted me and could say things to me.

"If you look at what they said, it was pretty petty and not worth reporting about."