Former England coach Stuart Lancaster has expressed his surprise at the criticism aimed at him by Rob Andrew.
Andrew, the Rugby Football Union’s former director of professional rugby, labelled Lancaster a “control freak” and “obsessive” in his book, The Game of My Life: Battling for England in the Professional Era, while also describing the decision to select Sam Burgess for the 2015 Rugby World Cup as an “almighty blunder”.
Lancaster, who lost his job in the wake of England’s poor showing at that tournament on home soil, told the Daily Telegraph, the paper in which Andrew’s book is being serialised: “Everybody’s entitled to an opinion, Rob has given his and that’s his right.
“You learn a lot about yourself as a national team coach and you learn a lot about other people as well. I didn’t see this coming, I wasn’t aware that anything was being written.
“When you take the responsibility, you’re accountable when it doesn’t go well. I think I did that from the start and I will continue to do that.
“I coached over 50 international games which I think puts me second-most or around there. You go through good times, you have great wins and great moments.
“You go through tough times as well. I’ve got my thoughts and I’ll keep them to myself for the time being. I don’t think it will do anyone any good by going back all over that now.
“It’s not for me to comment on whether it’s the wrong thing to do.
“I was unaware it was coming up. People are motivated in different ways. He was in the (RFU) organisation and I joined the organisation in my original role with the academy in 2007. We worked alongside each other, is the best way to describe it.”