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Rowntree's strange situation

Graham Rowntree admitted it is "beyond strange" to be coaching England into Saturday's RBS 6 Nations finale against Ireland with his future at Twickenham up in the air.

The Rugby Football Union are in the process of recruiting a new permanent head coach, who will be charged with leading England into the 2015 World Cup on home soil and it appears the RFU have a straight choice between current interim boss Stuart Lancaster and Nick Mallett.

"My wife understands the situation, she understands my feelings post-World Cup and she understands my feelings now. She has always been very supportive," Rowntree said. "She is frustrated because there is a lot up in the air at the moment."

He added: "It is not just us. There are 20-plus guys in the management who are all saying 'What will we be doing in six months time?'.

"The (decision) is out of our hands. All we can do is try and do our jobs to the greatest of our ability.

"Of course it is (strange) - but we are beyond strange."

The temporary coaching team of Lancaster, Rowntree and Andy Farrell have transformed England's fortunes since the dark days of last autumn's World Cup in New Zealand.

England are now fourth in the world following Sunday's 24-22 victory over France and, mathematically at least, they head into the final weekend of the Six Nations with a shot at the title.

Rowntree said: "We are covering a lot of bases with fewer coaches and I think it is the way forward. It does mean having to work 16 hours a day but it has been fantastic!

"This system works for us. I was part of a larger coaching team before (under Martin Johnson) and our record was quite successful. We had some famous victories. But for this group of coaches it has worked well."


From Belfast Telegraph