Sam Burgess: Individual egos and selfish players cost England in 2015

Sam Burgess started England's game against Wales in 2015 and was substituted before Wales' late comeback. Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Former dual-code England international Sam Burgess has said "individual egos and selfish players" caused the country's early exit from the 2015 Rugby World Cup, rather than his controversial inclusion in head coach Stuart Lancaster's squad.

Burgess made the switch from rugby league to rugby union only months before the tournament, as England crashed out of their own World Cup in the pool stages after defeats to Wales and Australia, eventually leading to Lancaster's resignation.

The centre's inclusion in the team was heavily criticised following England's early exit. Former England international Rob Andrew described Burgess as a "rogue ingredient" in the team while ex-Ireland centre Gordon D'Arcy said Burgess "severely damaged" his side's chances.

Responding to further criticism on Twitter on Tuesday, Burgess hit back at claims that he was to blame, suggesting that there were members of the England squad who weren't committed to the team.

"I seem to be getting a few tweets regarding the Rugby WC [World Cup] in 2015," Burgess said. "If people actually rewatched the games I participated in you will see I added to the team. What cost us an early exit was individual egos and selfish players not following our leader. Which essentially cost the coach and other great men their jobs.

"Tournaments are not won by the coaching staff or one player. It takes a commitment from the full group. I guarantee you this, I was committed but others had their own agendas. I have fond memories of my time in RU [rugby union] and some great friends. One day I will tell my side of the story but for now I love watching England Rugby and cannot wait to see them as they prepare for the 2019 WC in Japan."

Burgess returned to rugby league following the World Cup -- his appearance in the defeat to the Wallabies at Twickenham his last in an England rugby union jersey -- as he rejoined the South Sydney Rabbitohs.