Rugby Football Union chief Ian Ritchie hasn’t beaten around the bush in his evaluation of England’s crushing Six Nations defeat, labelling the failure to claim the title as “unacceptable”, as they finished runners-up for the fourth time in a row under coach Stuart Lancaster.
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Despite missing a number of key senior players for the final fixture with France through injury, Ritchie was in an unforgiving mood, saying, “Four years as runners-up is not acceptable at all and we are not happy with how that came about,” he was quoted by the Telegraph.
“If you go back through history, we should as a country be winning more in terms of Grand Slams, Six Nations, championships, other things.
He continued: “We had opportunities. And let us be clear – it was entirely in our control.
“The Irish deserved the win because of what they did over the five matches. We did not do enough over the five matches. There is no point bleating about it. We simply didn’t take opportunities, didn’t do what we should have done, were not clever enough during parts of the game in order to deserve the win.”
The RFU chief also went on to state that this year’s Six Nations fiasco makes World Cup success in the summer even more imperative.
He added: “We have got to make sure we come out in the Rugby World Cup and deliver.
“We remain confident we can do that. Are we in the frame to win it? Yes, I think we have got enough talent. We should be capable to win it. Will we win it? That depends on our execution on the day.”