"We're all in this together," says Warren Gatland about Stuart Lancaster's tough time after England's early World Cup exit

Warren Gatland has shown his support to his embattled England counterpart Stuart Lancaster, saying the coach as been through an ‘assassination by the media’.

A number of journalists and former England players have called for Lancaster to resign following England’s early exit from their own World Cup, while there have been reports of unrest in the camp throughout Lancaster’s reign.

Backs coach Andy Farrell has been forced to deny that he has had any undue influence over team selections in the tournament, while a spat between Danny Cipriani and skills coach Mike Catt became public this week.

“There’s a little bit of assassination by the media,” Gatland told reporters on Thursday.

“One kick, and had they taken those three points, I don’t think all this would have been the same,” he said.

“I rang Stuart in the week, he texted back and said ‘I appreciate the support’. I just hope that him and his family are ok, that’s more important than the rugby.

“We’re all in this together, so we understand the pressures of professional sport and what we have to deal with.”

The Wales coach told reporters that England “couldn’t afford him” according to Rugby365, although the Kiwi is just one of the names being floated around as a possible successor to Lancaster should he leave his post.

Former South Africa coach Jake White and Japan boss Eddie Jones are two of the favourites to take the role, but Lancaster insists he will not make a decision until after England’s final game against Uruguay on Saturday.

Gatland, meanwhile, has his own team to think about, with Wales facing a crunch game with Australia on Saturday with a win meaning they will avoid the likes of South Africa and New Zealand in the knockout stages.