England on Tuesday dismissed Will Carling’s “schoolboys” attack after their World Cup defeat by Wales, with Richard Wigglesworth suggesting the former captain does not understand modern rugby.
Carling said after the 28-25 loss that England coach Stuart Lancaster, a former school teacher, had created a “classroom-oriented environment” and treated the players as “schoolboys”.
“We knew coming into this that it could be like this, but he doesn’t know, hasn’t played the game for how long and hasn’t been involved in professional rugby for how long,” scrum-half Wigglesworth, a second-half replacement against Wales, said of Carling.
“Let’s have a meaningful discussion about his knowledge, about what he knows about the game. He is there to further his own career and good luck to him.”
Carling was England’s skipper when they lost the 1991 World Cup final to Australia at Twickenham. His remarks came ahead of England’s crunch match with Australia at Twickenham on Saturday. Another defeat could see England become the first World Cup hosts to be eliminated before the tournament knockout phase.
Wigglesworth said: “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.
“They are entitled to do that and are progressing their own careers and I have no interest in anything they have to say because they are not here. They are not living it and doing it and I’m not bothered.
“They annoy me,” he added. “I’m just indifferent to how ridiculous some of their chat is.”
England backs coach Andy Farrell said: “It’s not fair to say that the coaches are like school teachers, It’s quite a player-led environment.” – Agence France-Presse