Rugby Union

Graham Henry: England should stick with Stuart Lancaster despite World Cup exit

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Former New Zealand coach Graham Henry believes England should stick with Stuart Lancaster and has delivered a damning assessment of the host nation's failure at the Rugby World Cup.

Henry, a World Cup winner with the All Blacks in 2011, hopes the Rugby Football Union sticks with head coach Lancaster despite England being eliminated from the tournament in the group stages following defeats to Wales and Australia.

Henry, who also coached Wales and the British and Irish Lions, has also rejected any suggestion he could become England coach should Lancaster be shown the door.

Asked if he thought Lancaster should remain in the job, he told BBC Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek programme: "I hope he does. I haven't got a crystal ball but I hope he does.

"I think we too often burn our coaches because that's public opinion and media opinion and you have to start all over again."

Henry, who was retained as All Blacks coach in the aftermath of their quarter-final defeat to France at the 2007 World Cup, added: "Stuart Lancaster is obviously a good man and he has produced a rugby side which has got good values and a good culture from a situation which wasn't so good so he's done some positive things.

"I think continuity of people is absolutely critical if you want to do something special. They know what they need to do to get better.

"If Stuart Lancaster has got the ability it's a no-brainer to me."

Henry, who ruled himself out of any involvement with England if the RFU decided on change, was forthright in his assessment of the host nation's failure at the current World Cup.

" The disappointing thing for England is they haven't got the personnel to compete at the top level of the game," he said.

" Quite frankly the group of players that were selected for England for this Rugby World Cup were not good enough to do the job."

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