Rugby World Cup 2015: RFU names England review panel

Stuart Lancaster and RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie
RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie (right) will chair the panel, which will "review the effectiveness of the coaching, management and support team", led by head coach Stuart Lancaster (left)

Former World Cup winner Ben Kay and ex-Lions coach Sir Ian McGeechan will help decide the future of England head coach Stuart Lancaster.

England became the first World Cup hosts to be eliminated at the group stage after losing to Wales and Australia.

The RFU says the World Cup review will include "extensive input from players, coaches and management staff".

A five-man review panel will be led by RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie.

It also includes former Football Association chief executive and current England Rugby 2015 board member Ian Watmore and Professional Game Board chairman Ian Metcalfe.

No date has been set for the completion of the review. The next RFU board meeting will take place on 17 November.

The RFU said "feedback will remain confidential, with recommendations then made to the RFU board".

The performance of Lancaster and assistants Andy Farrell, Graham Rowntree and Mike Catt will be covered by the review.

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McGeechan was part of the group which unanimously approved Lancaster's full-time appointment in 2012 and was also part of another review which granted Lancaster greater powers over the English game a year later.

Writing in the Sunday Telegraph after England were knocked out, McGeechan said he "cannot see anything better" than the current coaching set-up "which is readily available".

He urged Ritchie not to make "any rash decisions", claiming England have "come a long way" under Lancaster and they would have qualified from any other pool, adding "defeat to two strong teams was no disgrace".

Former forward Kay, who won 62 caps and lifted the World Cup in 2003, now works as a TV commentator.

Lawrence Dallaglio
Former England forward Lawrence Dallaglio suggested Sir Clive Woodward should have been part of the review process

RFU professional rugby director and former England fly-half Rob Andrew is not part of the panel and nor is the 2003 World Cup-winning coach Sir Clive Woodward.

Will Greenwood, who was part of Woodward's England squad in 2003, believes his former coach should have been involved in the review.

"He's a giant spectre that gets thrown into the pot the whole time," said Greenwood, who won 57 caps.

"I for one would have Clive throwing stones from inside, rather than boulders from outside."

Ritchie has said there would be no "hasty reaction" to England's exit, while Lancaster, who has a contract until 2020, said he would find it "hard to walk away" from the job.

A review was conducted into England's 2011 World Cup quarter-final exit, but players were said to feel "betrayed" after their confidential verdicts were leaked to a national newspaper.

BBC Sport pundit and former England international Jeremy Guscott has said neither players nor coaches should be involved this time because their feedback would not be impartial.

England's 2003 World Cup-winning coach Sir Clive Woodward said player input could be "very divisive".

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