England head coach Stuart Lancaster admits that there were tears when he was informing some players that they wouldn't be included in the final 31-man Rugby World Cup squad. But it wasn't the players that were crying but Lancaster himself.
Lancaster has one of the better records as England head coach, with the best win percentage since World Cup winning coach Sir Clive Woodward, building a formidable squad.
He surprised some people by including rugby league convert Sam Burgess ahead of Luther Burrell, and Lancaster admitted that decision was particularly difficult:
I remember Luther’s mum and dad. I know them really well. It’s tough.
When asked if there was any tears or tantrums, he admitted that he was the one to shed some emotion:
Just by me. No tantrums, just tears. I won’t go into more detail than that.
That’s the nature of being head coach. You’ve got to make tough decisions and you’ve got to make decisions you feel are right for the team.
Lancaster then claimed that selecting Burgess wasn't a gamble, and that the rugby league star had been pulling up (Billy Twelve-) trees in training, and is set to play a big part at the tournament in exactly three weeks time.
Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE