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Lancaster coy over job prospects

Stuart Lancaster has refused to be seduced by the growing clamour for his appointment as England's permanent head coach.

Lancaster was bombarded with in excess of 130 text messages congratulating him over the 24-22 victory over France, a result that lifted his team to fourth in the world rankings.

Yet, he said: "I won't be getting carried away, I can assure you."

Manu Tuilagi, a try-scorer in Paris, and former England winger Austin Healy added their voices to the chorus of support for the 42-year-old's claim to the job.

Healy even stated that the Rugby Football Union would be "insane" to overlook him for a post that sees former South Africa and Italy coach Nick Mallett as his closest rival.

Humbling the pre-tournament favourites at the Stade de France in such thrilling style has further strengthened Lancaster's position, but he is remaining guarded over his prospects.

"I'm level-headed in lots of ways, I guess it's my Cumbrian upbringing where I keep my feet on the ground," he said. "I'm trying to get people to understand it's not about me personally. The team is made up of many component parts.

"I had probably 130-140 texts after the game, which is an unbelievable number. The majority were from people I'd taught at school, from Leeds or from former colleagues.

"The general tone was expressing pride in the team and pride in the direction the team is going in, which reinforces the belief in the journey we're going on.

"This win definitely reinforces the belief that between the three of us (assistants Andy Farrell and Graham Rowntree) we're definitely going in the right direction."

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