Lancaster targets World Cup glory
Stuart Lancaster has outlined his blueprint for leading England to World Cup glory on home soil in 2015 after being confirmed as the new permanent head coach.
His appointment followed a successful spell in interim charge, during which he guided England to second place in the RBS 6 Nations. The 42-year-old Cumbrian saw off competition from the experienced former South Africa and Italy coach Nick Mallett to land the England job.
Lancaster, who has signed a contract through to January 2016, spelt out a three-step plan to win the Webb Ellis Trophy, and said: "Absolutely, England can win the World Cup."
He added: "There are three things I'd like to bring to the (England) team.
"The first is pride in wearing the shirt and the connection with people. The advantage of playing a home World Cup is the power of the nation behind you. I want everyone to feel part of this team.
"The second is the vision for the future, and that is to win the World Cup in 2015. The third is for the players to play without fear and seize their opportunities when they come to play for England.
"The challenge now is to take this squad, and the players we will see emerge, forward to 2015. It is one that I can't wait to get stuck into.
"We have a massive task ahead of us in South Africa this summer and we have 37 games before that first World Cup match so every second counts in developing players who can win that tournament, which has to be the ultimate aim."
The RFU will now turn their attention to delivering Lancaster the coaching team he wants, which could well mean striking a deal to recruit Andy Farrell from Saracens on a permanent basis.
Farrell was seconded to England's three-man interim management team for the Six Nations and Lancaster said at his interview that he wanted to keep the coaching group together. Graham Rowntree is already on the RFU payroll, but Farrell currently has a two-year contract with Saracens. No approach has yet been made.