Stuart Lancaster yesterday threw his support behind embattled captain Chris Robshaw and stressed there were no divisions in the leadership of the England team.
Robshaw’s decision-making has been under the microscope after he instructed Owen Farrell to kick a penalty when England were trailing South Africa 16-12 with just over two minutes remaining.
Farrell openly disagreed with Robshaw’s decision on the field and the discussions continued down the tunnel and on into the changing room.
The week before, against Australia, Toby Flood kicked a penalty for the corner as England chased the game when Robshaw appeared ready to take the three points.
But Lancaster insisted the squad were unified in their backing of Robshaw, who had led from the front against the Springboks with a Herculean individual performance.
“Chris has done a fantastic job for us and we are 100 per cent behind him,” Lancaster said. “When I was captain, you always tend to have a debate with your fly-half because you have the decision between you – is it in your range, should we go for the corner?
“I am not concerned we have a split or a leadership dynamic that is causing me problems as a coach.”
Lancaster said Robshaw was ‘a bit flat’ on Sunday night but later the captain’s spirits had been raised after all his team-mates approached him to say they were all behind him.