England World Cup fallout
RFU announces Smith departure
ESPNscrum Staff
November 24, 2011
Smith has faced huge criticism in the recent leaked reports © Getty Images

Brian Smith has resigned from his post as England's attack coach following a dismal World Cup campaign and criticism in the leaked reports, according to the Rugby Football Union Twitter feed.

"England attack coach Brian Smith has today stepped down from his position," the RFU posted at 1.30pm, before it was removed minutes later. However, media sources confirmed the announcement and the RFU later released a statement saying the former London Irish boss had left his post. Smith was slammed in the leaked reports with one player saying: "If we'd got to the semi-finals or final it would have papered over the cracks and the worst thing is Brian Smith would have stayed in his job. It might be a blessing."

Smith was appointed in July 2008 and confirmed he would not be seeking to reknew his contract with the RFU. He said: "I feel that England have made great strides in the last three years and although the World Cup was a massive disappointment, we have won 10 out of the last 13 games, including beating Australia back-to-back and winning the Six Nations for the first time since 2003.

"Johno [Martin Johnson] appointed me and gave me the opportunity, and that's something I will be forever grateful for. He has been fantastic to work for and has always given 100 per cent and maintained the utmost integrity. Working with the other coaches has also been a positive experience and I wish them all well."

And former England team manager Martin Johnson paid tribute to the coach saying: "Brian has brought a high level of coaching and a huge amount of commitment and passion to the job. If you look at our record in the last 12 months, and the fact that we have scored 37 tries to 12 conceded, it shows what an impact he has made. I want to thank him for what he has done for the England team and for the young players that he has brought on."

More to follow...

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