Wigglesworth backs controversial criticism of Lancaster by RFU boss

Ross McLean
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ENGLAND scrum-half Richard Wigglesworth has conceded the criticism from Rugby Football Union chief Executive Ian Ritchie regarding his side’s Six Nations performance was entirely justified.

Ritchie described England’s championship showing, at which Stuart Lancaster’s side recorded a fourth successive runners-up finish, as unacceptable and insisted there was no excuse for such a paucity of championships and grand slams.

The remarks drew criticism from Sir Clive Woodward, who claimed Ritche’s stance undermined Lancaster, despite England being crowned Six Nations champions just once, in 2011, since their 2003 pre-World Cup winning grand slam.

Saracens No9 Wigglesworth came off the bench in all five of England’s tournament matches this term and insists Ritchie’s comments resonated with the standpoint of players.

“His quote has been blown up but ask the players where they want to finish and they want to finish first,” he said. “Players want to win. Anywhere else is not where you want to be.”


■ London is to host four of the 15 official fanzones in England and Wales for this year’s Rugby World Cup, organisers revealed yesterday
■ Trafalgar Square will be the most iconic venue, with room for up to 5,000 spectators to gather and watch matches on a big screen
■ Further fanzones will be staged at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Wembley Stadium and at Old Deer Park in Richmond