England may get leniency over media breach after being 'gutted' by rugby defeat

Hurt, humiliated and "absolutely gutted" were the words used by England's rugby team to describe their 33-13 Rugby World Cup loss against Australia on Saturday - and this upset may help the team avoid a fine for not fulfilling post-match media obligations.

England Rugby: Posted on behalf of captain Chris Robshaw an hour and a half after the final whistle on Saturday
England Rugby: Posted on behalf of captain Chris Robshaw an hour and a half after the final whistle on Saturday

Captain Chris Robshaw and head coach Stuart Lancaster both apologised to the country for their failure to progress in the tournament – making it the first country not to go past the group stages in a World Cup on home turf.

Lancaster, taking the brunt of the blame for England’s loss, encouraged fans to continue their support for the team, saying in a post on the team's official Facebook page: "They’ll be a good team and I want the country to stay behind them because they are good lads."

Player Mike Brown, also "gutted", addressed fans on Twitter. Brown thanked the country for its support, saying: "Your support has been incredible and you deserved better from us. We know there will be criticism, which we will take on the chin."

England Rugby could be fined for failing to meet World Rugby regulations on providing players for post-match media interviews.

Dominic Rumbles, head of comms for World Rugby, said that the rumoured fines were "no more than an investigation at this point". Rumbles told PRWeek: "The teams are generally good about meeting their post-match obligations with the media, and the devastation of the loss is also being factored in to this investigation."

After the match, Tom Wood and Richard Wigglesworth were the only players to provide interviews. Under World Rugby regulations, the team is required to send 10 players to field questions from the press.

Wigglesworth addressed former captain Will Carling’s criticism towards Lancaster’s leadership of the team. Wigglesworth fired back: "Certain people who have come out and said things should know better and it seems that no one has ever made a mistake in life and no one has made a decision that hasn't worked out for them." Wood spoke candidly with the media and apologised to fans for "not being good enough to beat Australia".

Wood’s interview was posted on Facebook just hours after RFU chief executive, Ian Ritchie, expressed his dismay at the loss and suggested the RFU take time for "clear thinking and calm reflection."

Ritchie: time for calm reflection

Deep disappointment. RFU Chief Executive Ian Ritchie: "I feel sorry for the supporters and the fans."This is not a moment for knee jerk reactions. This is a time for clear thinking and calm reflection." http://www.englandrugby.com/news/ritchie-hasty-reaction-exit/

Posted by England Rugby on Sunday, 4 October 2015

Ritchie has refused to accept criticism for his role in the defeat, and also said he would prefer to limit the extent of restructuring in its wake, as happened after the team's performance in the 2011 tournament.

Despite concerns that England’s early exit would have adverse effects affects on business such as supermarkets, pubs, and hotels, the City managed to shrug off the loss with an increase in supermarket shares and 168-point jump in the FTSE 100.

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