England’s coaching staff are being investigated over an alleged breach of protocol surrounding matchday communications with match officials during the Australia game on Saturday, World Rugby has announced.

A report in Australia states that two members of the coaching team approached match officials in the tunnel at Twickenham at half-time. The loss to the Wallabies meant the hosts were dumped out of the tournament with one pool match still to play.

“World Rugby is investigating an alleged breach by the England coaching team of the match-day communications protocol between match officials and team members or union officials during the match between England and Australia,” a World Rugby Statement read.


England trailed 17-3 at half-time of the match and as the teams ran off the pitch, the coaches are reported to have spoken to officials in contravention of regulations.

“The protocol prohibits certain conduct on match days including coaches approaching match officials during a match or at half-time during a match,” World Rugby’s statement continued.

England are already facing a possible fine for their failure to fulfil media obligations for the mixed zone after the defeat by the Wallabies.