RFU investigates damning World Cup report leaks

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) will appoint an independent investigator to see who leaked the damning reports on England's failed World Cup campaign.

An RFU statement described the leak as "a serious breach of confidentiality".

It added it would take disciplinary action "if appropriate" once the results of the investigation are revealed in two weeks' time.

The reports were based on anonymous interviews given by players who were part of England's World Cup squad.

Players must take responsibility - Foden

A number of players at the tournament were "more focused on money than getting the rugby right", according to the reports, which were compiled by the RFU, the Premiership clubs and the Rugby Players' Association (RPA).

The RFU document also revealed that a delegation of senior players disputed the amount of money the squad were to be paid.

In addition, England manager Martin Johnson and his coaching team also come in for criticism.

Disciplinary chief Judge Jeff Blackett will appoint "an independent external firm" to look into the leak.

England, who were dogged by disciplinary problems throughout the tournament , were beaten by France in the quarter-finals, equalling their worst ever performance in a World Cup.

The three reports on England's performance in New Zealand were submitted to the Professional Game Board last week. The reports were never intended to be published and the BBC has not seen them.

RPA chief executive Damian Hopley described the leaking of the documents, to The Times newspaper, as an "absolute disgrace".

While all the player quotes remain anonymous, Hopley said: "I am absolutely devastated that our RPA members' trust has been so publicly betrayed.

"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."