Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Lancaster has players' backing

England captain Chris Robshaw endorsed Stuart Lancaster's bid to become the team's full-time coach after a remarkable 24-22 RBS 6 Nations triumph over France.

Tries from Manu Tuilagi and Foden put England 14-3 ahead and when Tom Croft scored late on, after a French revival, they led 24-15 with just five minutes remaining. Wesley Fofana's converted try in the corner brought France storming back into the game but Francois Trinh-Duc's late drop goal attempt fell short.

Asked whether he would like to see the coaching team remain in place, Robshaw said: "Yes. They have created a great environment for us to go out there and play and of course as players we will back them to keep on doing it and keep on improving."

He added: "I would like to think they think the same of us. We have only been together for 35 to 40 days now and we feel we have come a long way since that first game against Scotland."

Full-back Ben Foden, who has scored in all four of his Tests against France, added: "They have been marvellous so far. The thing that Stuart has done is that he has been honest with all the players and the media.

"He has done what he set out to do and created an environment and culture that is certainly positive. All the boys are behind him and we all buy into what he is trying to build here and everyone is enjoying their rugby and enjoying the camp.

"Hats off to Stuart, Faz (Andy Farrell) and Wig (Graham Rowntree). We have one game left and we need to make sure we don't let them down in the last fixture (against Ireland at Twickenham on Saturday)."

England, mathematically at least, will head into the final weekend with a shot at winning the Six Nations title.

Never before have England won all three away fixtures in the same championship season and the triumph lifts Lancaster's men up to fourth in the world.

"It is there for all to see what Stuart has done. The biggest achievement, without a shadow of a doubt, is he has put some pride back in the England jersey," assistant coach Andy Farrell said. "That is not just the squad but throughout the country. You can feel the wave of support behind you."


From Belfast Telegraph