TWICKENHAM -- England have been knocked out of the 2015 Rugby World Cup with Saturday night's defeat against Australia ensuring they suffer the ignominy of being the first hosts of the tournament to be dispatched at the pool stages.
Stuart Lancaster's side opened their World Cup campaign with a win over Fiji but fell to defeats against Wales and then Australia, whose 33-13 win was the Wallabies' greatest margin of victory at Twickenham. Despite having one more match to play against Uruguay next weekend, England will head to Manchester knowing they have no chance of progressing to the quarter-finals.
It was always going to be a fiercely tough task to get through the hardest pool in World Cup history but England came to the tournament as second favourites behind New Zealand.
Question marks now hover over Stuart Lancaster's position as head coach despite having a contract that takes him through to the 2019 World Cup, a deal that was announced last October.
When the contract was unveiled -- one that includes Lancaster's lieutenants Andy Farrell, Mike Catt and Graham Rowntree -- RFU CEO Ian Ritchie said they would review the team's performance following the tournament. It remains to be seen exactly who and what the RFU deems responsible for England's failure and whether they will take any action.
Lancaster's reign has seen England finish second four times on the trot in the Six Nations with highlights including their 2012 record win over the All Blacks but he will have to fend off inevitable doubts over his and his coaching staff's future.
Their 2015 showing is the worst in England's World Cup history with their previous worst showings seeing them knocked out of the tournament at the quarter-final stages of the 1987, 1999 and 2011 competitions.