'Individual egos and selfish players' led to England's 2015 World Cup debacle - Sam Burgess

Sam Burgess played in three out of England's four group games
Sam Burgess played in three out of England's four group games

Cross-code international Sam Burgess has launched an attack on his former England rugby union team-mates stating that the 2015 World Cup debacle was due to "individual egos and selfish players" in the side.

The 2015 edition of the showpiece event saw the red rose team lose two out of their four games and as a result became the first hosts not to reach the knockout stage with Australia and Wales progressing to the next round.

Burgess switched from rugby league to rugby union when he joined Bath Rugby from South Sydney Rabbitohs in 2014 and was selected in the England's World Cup squad by then coach Stuart Lancaster.

However, England's performance sparked criticism from all corners that led to Lancaster and the assistant coaches removed while Chris Robshaw lost his captaincy following which Burgess signed a deal with South Sydney Rabbitohs for $1.5m AUD per season moving back to rugby league.

"I seem to be getting a few tweets regarding the Rugby WC in 2015....Still. If people actually rewatched the games I participated in You will see I added to the team," the 29-year-old said on Tuesday night.

"What cost us an early exit was individual egos and selfish players not following our leader. Which essentially cost the coach and other great men their jobs. Tournaments are not won by the coaching staff or one player. It takes a commitment from the full group.

"I guarantee you this, I was committed but others had their own agendas. I have fond memories of my time in RU [rugby union] and some great friends."

From Burgess' statement it shows he is defending Lancaster and Andy Farrell, who went on to achieve great success with Leinster and Ireland respectively following their sacking from England job.

"One day I will tell my side of the story but for now I love watching England and cannot wait to see them as they prepare for the 2019 WC in Japan."

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