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England’s time in the Land of the Long White Cloud was marred by several off-field incidents including a much publicised night out in a Queenstown bar, Manu Tuilagi being fined £3,000 for diving off a ferry into Auckland harbour and three members of the squad being reprimanded for comments made to a female hotel worker.
And the 45-year-old Carling admits that something has to change in order for these sorts of incidents to never happen again.
“I don't understand it,” he said. “I just think the values system seems to have been lost in the England team, and I am not sure where it has gone.
“I hope whoever forms the new coaching team sits back down with these players and some of the players grow up a wee bit and understand the honour of putting on that shirt.
“A lot of them, the way they behaved down here was an insult to the shirt. I am not being funny, but to blame the media is an easy excuse.
“There is part of the media that love that (type of story), but there is a naivety to actually give them (the papers) a chance to start going down that line.
“I didn't see what was wrong with guys going to a bar and having some beers. I don't have an issue with that at all, and I don't think anyone ever would.
“The rest of it was naive and irresponsible, and you can't defend it. The majority of the guys didn't get involved in anything stupid, but all it takes is four or five of them.”
While stopping short of calling for Johnson’s head Carling did not hesitate to put the boot into the rest of the coaching staff who, in his eyes, have reached the end of the line and need to step aside.
“I don't know if Johnno will put himself up again, whether he will actually even put his name in the hat.
“I personally think that even he would be hard-pushed to say the coaching team should stay. He's a very loyal man and if he is told the coaching team needs to change, would he still hang around? I don't know.
“I also think Johnno is all about winning. He was an incredible player, he was an incredible captain, and if you sit down and assess the last three and a half years, has it been good enough? Have England progressed far enough? Personally, I don't think they have.”