Stuart Lancaster now regrets Sam Burgess call-up, he thinks about 2015 every day - Ruck

Stuart Lancaster now regrets Sam Burgess call-up, he thinks about 2015 every day

Stuart Lancaster revealed he would not have fast-tracked Sam Burgess into England’s World Cup squad if he had known he would return to rugby league within a few weeks of the hosts being knocked out of the tournament.

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The current Racing boss was in charge as England crashed out of a home Rugby World Cup at the Pool stage following defeats to Wales and Australia at Twickenham

“Clearly, hindsight is a wonderful thing,” said Lancaster.

“If I’d known he was going to go back to rugby league then my decisions would have been different, but we didn’t know that at the time. It’s a shame for everyone. I don’t think there was any winner in the end.

“Sam was a great and positive influence on the group. He worked hard and earned the right, in our minds, to be in the squad.

“I think there’s a perception that I somehow went on a crusade to try and recruit him from rugby league. What happened was I went to Australia and watched a game, popping in to see various coaches along the way.

“One of those was Michael Maguire [head coach at South Sydney Rabbitohs] and Sam pulled me on the way out and said: ‘Do you fancy a coffee?’ We had a chat and he said: ‘I want to have a think about playing rugby union, how do I go about doing it?’

Speaking about the disastrous 2015 campaign, Lancaster added: “A lot of things have happened since the World Cup, but it is still fresh in my mind,” he said. “You think about it most days.”

Sam Burgess voted the worst ever England player in recent fan poll

Surveying over 1,000 fans, we sought their opinions on the poorest performers to have represented the men in white since the turn of the millennium.

While England has witnessed the emergence of stellar talents over the years, it has also seen its fair share of underwhelming players.

Here, we unveil the five individuals who are regarded as the worst, or in some instances, the most disappointing, to have donned the England jersey.

#5. Danny Cipriani – 3%

World-class on his day, but I don’t think any England fan will argue that the mercurial fly-half winning just 16 caps during his career can only be considered a complete disaster. He was never able to replicate his club form on the international stage. So disappointing.

Danny Cipriani of Bath Rugby during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby Match between Bath Rugby and Saracens at the Recreation Ground on 17 Oct. Photo: Steve Haag/PPAUK

#4. Shaun Perry – 5%

Much was made of the fact that Shaun Perry was an ex-welder when he burst into the limelight during an impressive season with Bristol, and it did make a charming rags-to-riches story.  But, let’s be honest, he never really looked accomplished in the England shirt. A poor performance against South Africa in the 2007 Rugby World Cup led to Perry being dropped from the 22 by England coach Brian Ashton. He never played again.

SHAUN PERRY(R) AND SIMON SHAW(L) OF ENGLAND TACKLING THE BALL – Photo mandatory by-line: Tom Dulat/Pinnacle – Tel: +44(0)1363 881025 – Mobile:0797 1270 681 – VAT Reg No: 768 6958 48 – 04/08/2007 – INVESTEC CHALLENGE; ENGLAND V WALES