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New leader nowhere in sight.


ENGLAND'S rugby union players are now back at home reflecting on an entirely unsatisfactory tour of New Zealand.

However, aside from the serious allegations which are still under investigation, most of the criticism thrown at them has been unwarranted.

As ever, it is only losing teams that are criticised for what they do to wind down. But it is unrealistic, and counter-productive, for players to go stir-crazy in their hotel rooms.

Tour management should not be expected to act in loco parentis and professionals should not be treated like children.

A tour lasts a long time and it is one of the most mentally demanding things a sportsman undertakes in his career.

As professionals they must take responsibility for their own preparations and physical state.

Rather than criticising the tour party, there should be closer inspection of the actions of those at home.

The Rugby Football Union appointed a head coach, Martin Johnson, and then allowed him to miss the tour.

With leadership like that, it is no surprise that standards weren't maintained on tour.


It wasn't just Toby Flood's arm which was left damaged after England's tour of New Zealand as their reputation took a knock too
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jun 26, 2008
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