ENGLAND 60 URUGUAY 3
England concluded their World Cup with a meaningless 60-3 rout of Uruguay in Manchester and will now begin their inquest into the calamitous group exit that is likely to end the reign of Stuart Lancaster.
Number eight Nick Easter celebrated his first international start for four years with a hat-trick of tries, wing Jack Nowell also crossed three times, Anthony Watson plundered two and there was also a score for Henry Slade and a penalty try.
The decision to field four fly-halves in the backline was more of a hindrance than an asset, resulting in too many passes when England would have been better served by having the option to carry over the gainline.
Among the playmakers on display was Slade, the Exeter centre who used his second cap to produce a performance - albeit against outclassed opponents - that begged the question why this was his first appearance of the World Cup.
It took until the second half for England to hit their stride, but even then they were their own worst enemies as they continued to suffer at the breakdown, a frustrating theme throughout the tournament.
Easter was superb and named man of the match, Joe Launchbury picked up where he left off against Australia and Danny Care was lively, but minnows Uruguay - the last team to qualify for the World Cup - wilted after the interval.
Successive losses to Wales and Australia had already confirmed England’s tournament demise, a fate which will have felt all the more painful after learning the result when their heavyweight Pool A rivals clashed at Twickenham earlier in the day.
The Wallabies prevailed 15-6, meaning that had England opted for the draw-securing late penalty against Warren Gatland’s men two weeks ago they would have progressed to the knockout phase.
Instead, they must see the global showpiece continue without them while Lancaster waits anxiously for the outcome of the Rugby Football Union’s review into the nation’s worst performance at a World Cup.
Lancaster’s lieutenants Andy Farrell and Graham Rowntree watched from the stands at Manchester City Stadium after receiving changing rooms bans for communicating with the assistant referees against Australia.