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Rowntree wants to bring pride back

Graham Rowntree is determined to "make everyone proud of England again" after being asked to form a new-look management team with Andy Farrell and interim head coach Stuart Lancaster.

Rowntree is not just the only England World Cup coach to have been retained but he has stepped up from technical scrum specialist to take charge of the forwards for the 2012 Six Nations.

"It's been dark times. Every day I wondered what the future held. The whole uncertainty has almost been unbearable," Rowntree said. "It was messy wasn't it, to be frank. But now it's about moving forward. This is what we are now. This is our coaching group. Let's get on with it."

He added: "Today we start something new. And that excites me. A new start for England. A new coaching group and a lot of good young players out there to choose from.

"We want an environment where players are going to enjoy themselves, play a good brand of rugby and express themselves - make everyone proud of England again."

Lancaster can make 10 changes to the elite squad for the Six Nations and he plans to inject some youth into the squad in a bid to reform the culture and the style of play.

England's senior elite squad will be announced on January 11 before the players head to Portugal for a vital pre-Six Nations training camp.

"Setting the guidelines, setting those attitudes of what we need to be going forwards is something Stuart will be very good at. Why? Because he's very organised, a good leader, a good head coach. I think he'll do that job very well," Rowntree said.

"We set those standards, core values, ethics and just get on with it. Work hard and enjoy ourselves.

"The next job is picking two squads - senior and Saxons - to reflect that young talent out there. Get together, get them excited, get them proud again of playing for England."


From Belfast Telegraph