Rugby World Cup 2015: 'England need a broader review'

John Steele
Steele was dismissed by the RFU board over his handling of the failed process to recruit a performance director
Rugby World Cup
Hosts: England Dates: 18 September-31 October
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England must review how they appoint coaches, according to former Rugby Football Union chief John Steele.

The RFU has begun its inquest into England's disappointing World Cup campaign, which could lead to head coach Stuart Lancaster's dismissal.

It is believed the review will only focus on England's coaching set-up.

But Steele would prefer a wider, deeper review, telling BBC Radio 5 live: "Maybe we've got to look more broadly at how the appointments were made."

England became the first hosts in the tournament's history to fail to reach the quarter-finals, with losses to Wales and Australia eliminating them at the group stage.

The RFU's post-World Cup inquest will be led by the man who appointed Lancaster, chief executive Ian Ritchie, who has promised a "360-degree review" but has not publicly set out the timetable and parameters for it.

Former chief executive Steele, who was sacked by the governing body in 2011 after just nine months in the role, does not believe getting rid of Lancaster would solve the national team's problems.

"If we are told that Stuart hasn't been successful, Martin Johnson before him, Brian Ashton before him, maybe we're looking in the wrong place if we're constantly focusing on the coaches," he said.

"There has to be a broader responsibility. There are other people in the system who should be accountable, as well as looking at Stuart and the coaching team."

Sir Clive Woodward
Sir Clive Woodward coached the England team between 1997 and 2004

Former RFU chairman Martyn Thomas has told the Daily Telegraphexternal-link that Sir Clive Woodward should have been given the job instead of Lancaster.

But Steele said it was time for the country to move on from the 2003 World Cup triumph achieved under Woodward's management.

"His input has been listened to at various times and it's now about the future," said Steele. "Where's our next Clive Woodward? Our next big coach?

"What we have to get over is harking back to things that happened over 10 years ago. I'm sure New Zealand don't look back to the last World Cup, let alone 10 years ago. They're all about the future and moving forward."

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