MIKE BROWN has apologised to England supporters following the host nation’s elimination from the World Cup.
England were edged out 28-25 by Wales last weekend and knew defeat at Twickenham to Australia on Saturday night would knock them out, but the Wallabies exposed nerves and frailties at the breakdown to batter Stuart Lancaster’s side 33-13.
England created some unwanted history in becoming the first host nation not to make it out of the pool stage of the competition and now face a dead-rubber game against Uruguay at Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium next weekend.
Brown felt he and his team-mates had let the country down and thanked the home fans for their support.
The 30-year-old Harlequins full-back said on Twitter: “I’m absolutely gutted for what’s happened. We put so much hard work in, some of us for four years, and to go out like this is devastating.
“Your support has been incredible and you deserve better from us. We know there will be criticism which we will take on the chin.
“But please know, to a man, we have given everything we have in preparation and in the games. On the day we weren’t good enough, we know that and it hurts.
“We make no excuses and will take the criticism given to us. All credit to Australia and Wales and I wish them all the best for the tournament. For us now it’s about being professional and finishing the tournament in the right way in our last RWC15 game.
“Hopefully the guys lucky enough to take the field on Saturday can leave you with something to be proud of.
“Once again to all of the England rugby supporters thank you for your unbelievable support to me personally and to the team. I appreciate it so much.
“Messages, words in person, on social media and cheering for us at all the games, you’ve been amazing! Sorry we couldn’t be better for you.”
England’s misery over their calamitous World Cup exit may be compounded by a possible fine for their failure to meet World Rugby regulations for post-match media requirements.
Every team is obliged to send 10 players into the mixed zone to speak with media after the match has finished, but England only provided two – Tom Wood and Richard Wigglesworth – despite requests for more players to appear.
The World Rugby representative on duty in the mixed zone confirmed that the matter would feature in his report.
It is understood that a fine is the sanction available to World Rugby if they decide a punishment is necessary.