Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Lancaster sets sights on England role

Stuart Lancaster will ink in the last and most impressive update to his CV and then turn his attentions to convincing the Rugby Football Union that he is the man to lead England into the 2015 World Cup.

Judging by the reaction at Twickenham, and among those who gave Lancaster a standing ovation at the official dinner after England's crushing 30-9 victory over Ireland, the interim coach has already won over the rugby public. Nick Mallett, who is thought to be Lancaster's main rival for the full-time coach's job, conceded it would be hard for the RFU to appoint anyone else.

"A lot of people always talk about experience," Lancaster said. "To be successful do you have to understand the Premiership, do you have to understand the England culture, do you have to have knowledge of young players, of the best players, of the previous environment? I think I had all that experience, to be honest."

Lancaster has led England to second place in the RBS 6 Nations championship with a new-look team that has restored a sense of pride in the red rose following the World Cup debacle.

But Lancaster's appointment is far from guaranteed. RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie has insisted all along that results alone would not dictate whether he gets the job.

The RFU are thought to have targeted their recruitment towards a coach with the experience of guiding a leading nation into a World Cup and they first contacted Mallett in December.

But Lancaster, who is expected to be interviewed in the coming week, believes he has all the qualities required for the job following his time at Leeds and within the RFU's academy structure.

The only part Lancaster had not experienced before was coaching a team in a Test match and he hopes that victories over Scotland, Italy, France and Ireland will enhance his case.

He added: "The only bit I didn't have was the games and I've learnt as I've gone and tried to get up to speed as quickly as a could with international coaching. I've still got loads to do and loads to go but I had the belief.

"Part of the dynamic of international coaching is to get the best of out people and to build a team and culture that people buy into. If you look at our performances, I think we've done that."

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.


From Belfast Telegraph