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Should Stuart Lancaster be fired?

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Since England's very disappointing defeat in the Rugby World Cup last Saturday, the nation has been coming to terms with exactly what went wrong to make England the first host nation ever to be eliminated from the Cup before the knock-out stages.

There has been a high amount of controversy and speculation regarding Stuart Lancaster's position as England head coach, and his fate will be decided following the conclusion of the World Cup this month.

Below Newitts takes a look at Stuart Lancaster's current position and debates the question currently on many rugby fan's minds - should he be fired?

The management's perspective

Stuart Lancaster has come under fire from a number of managers such as Northampton's Jim Mallinder who accused Lancaster of wasting centre Luther Burrell, while Exeter's Rob Baxter criticised Lancaster for choosing Sam Burgess who only had one cap to his name, over his player Henry Slade. Baxter went on to say that he felt the current set-up for England's game against Wales did not encourage characters to express themselves.

Baxter said, “When you go from having a successful game against Wales like they did the last time they played them, with a certain formula, to drop out of that formula, it takes some answering. I think that’s the million-dollar question that we’re all baffled about."

To summarise the performance of England in the World Cup Baxter added, "we’ve seen little enjoyment, few smiles, few characters."

The widespread feeling of many rugby coaches is that the management made "fundamental errors" that led to the team's humiliating exit from the World Cup.

The current support for Lancaster

Despite the manager's reactions, there has been widespread support for Lancaster. In particular, Wales' coach Warren Gatland who described the media reaction to England's exit as an "assassination" of Lancaster's coaching team.

England's three-point loss to Gatland's side followed a late decision to kick to touch when a kick at goal could have tied the match 28-28. Gatland said, "it's one kick - and if they had potentially taken those three points I don't think all of this would have been the same."

Lancaster has admitted he is "surprised" by the level of support he has received from coaches and fans alike. Described by Danny Care as a "fighter" it is clear that Lancaster won't just walk away from the job easily. Lancaster said: “I’ve learned a lot along the way and, obviously, I back myself to coach at this level, no doubt about it. We’ve proven it by beating this team and this team, and this team."

The England v Uruguay game

From selection to tactics, it is clear that Lancaster's position will come under further scrutiny following tomorrow's game against Uruguay in Manchester at Manchester's Etihad Stadium. Despite tickets currently selling in Manchester for a reported £2.50, it is clear that this is England's only hope to win back some lost pride. It has been documented that there are many players yet to be involved in the Cup who are still looking forward to playing, and it is hopeful that a combination of their enthusiasm and the need for England to claw back some dignity will be enough to secure a resounding victory.

Will Lancaster fight back?

Has England's catastrophic defeat left those at the top with no other decision but to fire Lancaster? Certainly, there are a number of things that went wrong in the games against both Wales and Australia and the Rugby Football Union has promised fans a full review of England's performance where calls for changes at the top will certainly be made. At present, Lancaster has a contract that runs until 2020, but he believes the decision as to whether he stays or goes will inevitably be taken out of his hands.

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Do you think Stuart Lancaster should be fired? Have your say below.

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