Andy Farrell Says Stuart Lancaster Had ‘Final Decision’ On Team Selection


England backs coach Andy Farrell has denied having undue influence on tactics and team selection during the side’s World Cup failure.

Media reports suggested some players in the squad felt Farrell – rather than head coach Stuart Lancaster – was deciding game plans and line-ups. 

“The head coach makes the final decision. That is that,” said Farrell.

Farrell’s son Owen replaced George Ford at fly-half for the defeats by Wales and Australia as England crashed out.

But it was the selection of Sam Burgess in the 31-man squad at the expense of Luther Burrell that reportedly caused disharmony.

Burgess converted to union from league last November, while Burrell started all of England’s Six Nations matches earlier this year.

“We have discussions, you all put in your two pennies’ worth and then ultimately Stuart makes the call,” said Farrell.

“Sam worked unbelievably hard and has continued to work unbelievably hard for the team.”

Lancaster has insisted responsibility for England’s success or failure lies with him.

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