England will use criticism from former captain Will Carling to create unity before their crucial World Cup match against Australia, says another ex-skipper Martin Corry.
Carling said England lacked leadership and the players were treated “like schoolboys”, prompting scrum-half Richard Wigglesworth to hit back.
England may struggle to reach the last eight if they fail to beat Australia.
“They sound really angry and that’s the reaction you want,” said Corry.
“Listening to them talking they are pulling together and now I expect something big to happen as a result against Australia,” the former Leicester Tigers forward, 41, added on BBC Radio 5 live.
England face the prospect of becoming the first sole host nation not to reach the knockout stage of a World Cup if they are beaten by the Wallabies at Twickenham on Saturday.
Lancaster’s team are third in Pool A after losing 28-25 against Wales – having led 22-12 with 30 minutes left – on Saturday.
England captain Chris Robshaw opted not to attempt a late penalty that could have secured a draw against Wales.
Carling, who captained England to the 1991 World Cup final, criticised the Red Rose camp on Monday, claiming head coach Stuart Lancaster had created a “classroom-orientated environment”.
But 32-year-old Wigglesworth, who did not name Carling specifically, took exception to the criticism.
“We knew coming into this that it could be like this, but he doesn’t know, hasn’t played the game for how long and hasn’t been involved in professional rugby for how long,” said the Saracens scrum-half.
“Let’s have a meaningful discussion about his knowledge, about what he knows about the game.”
Carling, 49, responded in a short video posted on his Twitter account on Tuesday, admitting that Wigglesworth “did have a point”.
But he added: “One of the things we did do was invest a huge amount of time, effort and emotion into learning the lessons of what we got wrong. And we got a lot wrong against Wales.
“Therefore the players and coaches have to be brutally honest with each other because that is how you get a team to be successful, not by ignoring serious issues.”(BBC Sport)
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