World Cup: Stuart Lancaster had 'more than four years of failure'

England head coach Stuart Lancaster
Lancaster has won 27 of his 45 matches as England head coach, losing 17 and drawing one
Rugby World Cup
Hosts: England Dates: 18 September-31 October
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England should dismiss head coach Stuart Lancaster after their early World Cup exit, say ex-internationals Mark Cueto and Kyran Bracken.

Saturday's loss to Australia meant England became the first hosts ever to be knocked out in the pool stage.

"He's won one game in a World Cup so I think that says it all," Cueto, who won 55 England caps, told BBC Radio 5 live.

"This is four and a half years of failure - I just don't see how he can recover from it," added Bracken.

"The argument is that Clive Woodward at one stage after the 1999 World Cup was given another chance, but he'd only been there for about two years."

Former Sale wing Cueto highlighted that 2003 World Cup-winning captain Martin Johnson left his position as manager in 2011, despite leading England to the last eight of that year's World Cup.

"Johnson had 18 months to prepare us for that World Cup. We got to the quarter-finals and got knocked out by a team that went on to the final," he said.

Former England number eight Dean Ryan is also adamant Lancaster will not see out his contract, which runs until 2020.

"I have no doubt he will go," Ryan told BBC Wales' Scrum V. "I think he will probably walk, he has to."

The Worcester boss, 49, also called for a review into the Rugby Football Union's appointment process.

He believes RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie and professional rugby director Rob Andrew must be held accountable for appointing Lancaster as Johnson's permanent successor in March 2012.

Lancaster, 45, has led England to four successive runner-up finishes in the Six Nations. The former Leeds director of rugby signed a six-year contract extension last year.

On Sunday the England head coach said the World Cup failure "is going to sit with us all forever - players, coaches, management".

"I don't think I'll ever come to terms with it personally because it was such a big thing," he added.

England's elimination should not prompt a "hasty reaction" over Lancaster's future, according to Ritchie.

Dean Ryan
Ryan won six caps for England between 1990 and 1998

And Ryan insisted: "We've got to look at the whole process before England move on.

"We need to look at who is making the appointment. Whoever Ian Ritchie and Rob Andrew asked for advice, they've got it wrong.

"Why will we allow them to make the next appointment, take a good coach in, spend three years and spit him out?"

Ryan believes the RFU must have put together a contingency plan in the event of Lancaster leaving after a poor World Cup.

England were drawn alongside Australia, Wales and Fiji - all ranked in the top nine in the world - plus Uruguay, in Pool A.

"If we haven't got a contingency plan coming out of the group of death with three months until the Six Nations, then that's not fit for purpose in terms of running one of the biggest unions," added the ex-Scotland assistant coach.

'Burgess was a mistake'

Meanwhile, former England scrum-half Bracken also believes the selection of Sam Burgess in the squad was an error.

The former rugby league player did not make his union bow until November 2014, and made his international debut against France on 15 August. Burgess played inside centre for the World Cup defeat by Wales, and was subsequently dropped for the match against the Wallabies.

"I was waiting to be a convert. I believe the coaching staff got it wrong," said Bracken, who played for England between 1993 and 2003.

"Burgess is going to be a very fine player in time. We gave [former league player and World Cup winner] Jason Robinson a long time before he was called up.

"I just think Burgess is playing out of position - he'll be a good back-row player, but he's never a 12. Nothing he has done has proved me wrong."

World Cup Pool A

'There are livelihoods at stake'

Wales boss Warren Gatland told Scrum V he has "a huge amount of respect" for what Lancaster achieved with England "in terms of the discipline he's instilled in that side and the way those players conduct themselves".

Gatland added that towards the end of England's defeat by Australia, "I turned to my wife and said whatever happens in the next 20 minutes will change people's lives".

He continued: "You've got to put things into perspective. It's great that we've qualified, but you've got to feel for other teams because there are families and livelihoods at stake.

"Why was the World Cup draw done three years ago? It's ridiculous as far as I'm concerned.

"There's other people outside of this who need to have a look at themselves and ask why these decisions were made - you've got to feel sorry for the people who this has affected."

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