Stuart Lancaster: Selection caused England exit - Jonathan Davies

Wales celebrate beating England
Wales' pool win at Twickenham contributed to England's World Cup exit and ultimately Stuart Lancaster's departure

Stuart Lancaster's team selection was the reason for his "inevitable" departure as England coach, says former Wales fly-half Jonathan Davies.

Lancaster has left his post after England's early World Cup exit.

His decision to select rugby league convert Sam Burgess for the pool-stage defeat to Wales attracted criticism.

"I think he was trying to put the right pieces into place but selection unfortunately was his downfall," Davies told BBC Wales Sport.

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"It was not only Burgess and the centre partnership but crucial selections at 10, half-back, the front row with [Dylan] Hartley not being picked, so it all added up.

"It kind of was inevitable for Stuart Lancaster, which is a shame."

Lancaster, 46, was made permanent coach in 2012 and won 28 of his 46 games, but failed to win the Six Nations.

Burgess' brief rugby union career with England was a controversial one, and the 26-year-old has since rejoined Australian rugby league side South Sydney Rabbitohs.

England 'rudderless'

A review into England performance at the World Cup took place after the tournament, with Rugby Football Union chief executive Ian Ritchie stating that Lancaster agreed he should step down from his role.

"At the moment it seems to be rather rudderless," said Davies.

Sam Burgess
Picking Sam Burgess ahead of the likes of Luther Burrell was one of Stuart Lancaster's big calls as England coach

"I do feel sorry for [Lancaster]. He's a decent guy and tried to do the right thing but unfortunately it didn't work out.

"When you're a host nation and you don't get out of the pool stage, questions are going to be asked.

"On top of that, the leaking of stories coming from the squad and the Sam Burgess debate, there was no way he could have stayed unfortunately for him."

Home-grown successor

Wales head coach Warren Gatland is among those who have been linked to the England post, although the New Zealander is contracted to Wales until the end of the 2019 World Cup.

England have never had a foreign head coach, and Davies would like to see home-grown coaches in the set-up which will succeed Lancaster.

Warren Gatland
Wales head coach Warren Gatland has been linked with England

"It's a great time to come in," he added.

"Having had two very disappointing World Cups, it's a great opportunity for someone to come in, have a look at the talent they've got and the resources, and turn things around.

"World rugby needs a strong England and the Six Nations needs a strong England. I'm sure they'll be strong come February.

"I would like some kind of home-grown coaches involved.

"Whether they go for a head coach there or rugby director with a consultant from the southern hemisphere or outside England, there's enough clever people in England and clever rugby people in the wider world."

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