England World Cup campaign faces 'most comprehensive review ever'

England players at Heathrow
England arrived back at Heathrow earlier than planned after defeat by France

England's disappointing World Cup campaign will be subject to "the most comprehensive review ever undertaken," the Professional Game Board has said.

The PGB oversees the elite club and international game in England and will assess a series of reports on Thursday.

These include details from the Rugby Players' Association, which spoke with all 31 players in the World Cup squad.

A 12-man PGB panel will present their recommendations to the Rugby Football Union on 30 November.

England had set a World Cup semi-final appearance as their minimum objective in New Zealand but they lost to France in the quarter-finals, ending a campaign that was affected by controversy off the field.

Mike Tindall admitted misleading the team management over a night out in Queenstown, for which he was subsequently fined £25,000.

Chris Ashton and James Haskell were given suspended £5,000 fines and warned as to their future conduct after making inappropriate comments to a female hotel worker, and Manu Tuilagi was fined £3,000 by the RFU for jumping off a ferry into Auckland harbour, which attracted the attention of the police.

The RFU will also provide a report on the troubled campaign, compiled by director of elite rugby Rob Andrew, who has interviewed the England management team.

The nine Premiership clubs who supplied players to the England squad have also provided information.

Firm decisions about the make-up of the England coaching team and the structure of the RFU's new Professional Rugby department will not be made until the review has been digested.

Andrew has been acting head of that department but his input into the England set-up is also likely to come under scrutiny.

"It will be the most comprehensive review ever undertaken of an England tournament performance," chairman Ian Metcalfe promised.

Speculation still remains over the future of manager Martin Johnson, who is yet to formally declare whether he wishes to be considered for reappointment when his contract expires at the end of December.

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