There are fresh concerns over the independence of the review panel set up to investigate England’s disastrous World Cup campaign as Stuart Lancaster’s links to several panel members and senior RFU figures emerge.
RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie finally named his five-man review panel on Monday, 16 days after England’s World Cup exit was confirmed with a record defeat by Australia, leading to one well-placed source describing ‘a self-serving cabal at the top of the game’.
The panel is made up of former Scotland and Lions coach Sir Ian McGeechan, RFU board member and Cambridge Blue Ian Metcalfe, Ian Watmore — who sits with Ritchie on the board of England 2015 — and 2003 World Cup winner Ben Kay.
‘The level of self-interest is astonishing. People are being appointed purely to guarantee nothing changes and to cover their own positions. The current coaching set-up and culture of failure is a direct result of this self-serving approach.’