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Lancaster confirmed as England boss

Stuart Lancaster has been appointed as England's new permanent head coach on a four-year contract, the Rugby Football Union have confirmed.

Lancaster, 42, will lead England into their home Rugby World Cup in 2015 after seeing off competition for the job from Nick Mallett.

Lancaster's permanent appointment follows his successful reign as interim head coach, during which he led England to second place in the RBS 6 Nations and rebuilt the reputation of the national team.

"The two words that spring to mind are honour and privilege," he told a press conference televised by Sky Sports.

"Being head coach of your national team in any sport (is an honour), but to do it at a time when we've got a World Cup in our own country is a huge, huge honour. It's a very proud day for myself and my family, but it's not about me, it's about the team and the connection between the team and the English public.

"We had 82,000 people come to watch us Twickenham, there were 10 million people or thereabouts watching the Ireland game. England is a country that gets behind a team, there is no country that does that better than England."

Rugby Football Union chief executive Ian Ritchie was not prepared to take questions on the make-up of Lancaster's support staff.

Forwards coach Graham Rowntree is expected to remain part of the set-up but it remains to be seen if Andy Farrell, who was seconded to England for the Six Nations by Saracens, will join Lancaster's backroom staff on a permanent basis.

Lancaster was given the full-time role on merit and being English did not favour him over other candidates, according to Ritchie.

"I don't see it (appointing Lancaster) as a gamble," said Ritchie. "Stuart was given this job on merit against very strong competition. There were a large number of interested candidates in this job."


From Belfast Telegraph