Former England and Great Britain skipper Jamie Peacock, Super League’s most successful player with Bradford Bulls and Leeds Rhinos, has called for a review of England’s performance and has even questioned the dismissal of Wayne Bennett going into the tournament.
Peacock, speaking after the Rugby League World Cup Final between England and Australia, gave some insight into the 2008 World Cup and the questions asked afterwards and suggested that a similar inquest needed to take place now.
He said: “After the excitement of the game, you want to sit back and think why are England not in this final?
“There are a few things that come from it, I would really like to see some personal accountability above and beyond the players, the week we’ve had, the players have been scrutinised and it’s really difficult for a player people say you’ve done that wrong and that wrong.
“I think some questions need to be asked about how a team goes from beating a team 60-6 to looking fried played against Samoa.
“I think some big decisions got made before this World Cup maybe three years ago around the coach Wayne Bennett. The reason I mention Wayne Bennett, there are a couple of anomalies in World Cup rugby: New Zealand win it in 2008 and England making the final in 2017 after 30 years.
“A coach associated with both those was Wayne Bennett. In 2019, after an awful tour the Board of Directors went against the Director of Rugby’s report saying Wayne Bennett should stay on and get rid of him.
“They go through a process and put a new coach in and we’re sat here three years later all disappointed because we didn’t get to the final so they have got to take some accountability for me.
“Then also we need a review into the performance, in 2008 we had a performance review and three policies came out of which changed the game which allowed us to get closer to Australia and that needs to happen here.”