Rugby World Cup
England's Tom Wood warns against knee-jerk reactions
Tom Hamilton
October 4, 2015
England 13-33 Australia (Australia only)

TWICKENHAM, London -- England's Tom Wood has backed the team's management after they crashed out of the Rugby World Cup at the pool stage but apologised for their performance as they were soundly beaten by Australia.

England went into the match knowing they could not lose to the Wallabies as it would spell an early end to their tournament but they eventually fell to a 20-point defeat. Wood was one of two players who faced the press post-match -- something that could land the RFU in hot water with World Rugby as it is obliged to offer up 10 from the matchday squad -- and fronted up for their early exit from the tournament.

© David Rogers/Getty Images

But despite their poor showing in the 2015 competition, Wood says there is no need for knee-jerk reactions. He was part of the 2011 squad that was knocked out in the quarter-finals amid off-field indiscretions and while he felt the need to voice his concerns then, he has no criticisms of England's preparations for this tournament.

Where did it go wrong for England?

When asked whether there was any need to go back to the drawing board after their group exit, Wood said: "My gut reaction is that is not necessary. I feel like the team, the character and the things they have been building on are going in the right direction. I feel like our philosophy as a team, our manager and the way we prepare for games is damn good.

"We didn't get the result we wanted but I don't think there is a need to rip it up and go back to the drawing board.

"I can't speak highly enough of the management team. I have been in this position before and questioned legitimately our preparation and things that had gone on. I have not got any questions this time.

"I feel like we have done everything, we have worked really hard. Selection is subjective and people will have their thoughts on that, but as a player I back the guys I train with. I see them work day in, day out and seen their words in meetings and I wholeheartedly believe in the guys either side of me. The preparation was good. I feel like we have got a strong character as a team."

The England coaching staff will now face questions over their future following the back-to-back defeats against Wales and Australia and Wood struggled to put his emotions into words.

England just didn't perform

"I can't explain how much it hurts," Wood said. "I can't articulate what went wrong. Give credit to the Australians, they turned up and were sharp when they needed to be and we didn't have the answers. I apologise, we didn't have the answers."

England now have one more pool match before their tournament comes to a close. They will travel to Manchester next weekend to play Uruguay.

"We have to stand back, take stock and somehow find the strength to pull an England shirt again next week in a game that in the grand scheme of things means nothing," Wood added. "Whenever you pull on a white shirt, you have to do it proud."

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