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Focus moves to Farrell

Having appointed Stuart Lancaster as England's new head coach, the Rugby Football Union will now turn their attention to delivering the management team he wants.

And that will almost certainly mean a phone call to Saracens and an attempt to recruit Andy Farrell from the Aviva Premiership champions on a permanent basis.

Farrell was seconded to England's interim management team for the RBS 6 Nations and Lancaster wants to keep his three-man coaching group in place.

Graham Rowntree is already on the RFU payroll and is sure to continue in his role as forwards coach but Farrell currently has a two-year contract with Saracens.

No approach had been made by Thursday night as the RFU focused on finalising Lancaster's appointment to lead England into the home Rugby World Cup in 2015 but the phone call appears imminent.

"I was asked the question [in the interview] and my response was centred around looking at what we had done through the Six Nations and how successful that chemistry had been," Lancaster said.

"We need to go to South Africa and build on where we are but I wouldn't be averse to bringing another coach in or someone else to support me.

"We don't need to rush into that decision. The most important thing was getting the same coaching team in place that we had in the Six Nations. Clearly there is an order of events for that. If I was going to do it I wanted to do it my way. That is what I argued."

New Zealand's attack specialist Wayne Smith would be a prime candidate to join the England set-up after the three-Test tour to South Africa.

Smith is keen on a return to Test rugby after helping New Zealand win the 2011 World Cup. He will be available for the start of next season and England need to add an attacking element to their game.


From Belfast Telegraph