England turn to Lancaster in time of need


RUGBY:STUART LANCASTER described his appointment as England head coach as “an honour and a privilege” as he spelt out what he feels is needed for the team to claim World Cup glory on home soil in 2015.

Lancaster’s appointment was confirmed yesterday following a successful Six Nations campaign as interim manager where he led England to second place in the championship, helping to rebuild reputations after a disappointing World Cup showing under Martin Johnson last autumn.

His next task will be to lead England on a tough summer tour to South Africa, and he set out his blueprint for how England can move forward in the build-up to 2015. “The two words that spring to mind are honour and privilege,” he told a press conference. “Being head coach of your national team in any sport (is an honour), but to do it at a time when we’ve got a World Cup in our own country is a huge, huge honour.”

Lancaster, who has worked his way up through grassroots coaching and is a former England Saxons coach, still works as assistant coach to the West Park Leeds under-11s team but his thoughts drifted last night to how he could take England to the top of the professional game.

“I was sat last night at West Park in Leeds having finished with the under-11s and we were talking about the tour – not the South Africa tour, the Scarborough tour,” he said. “I was sat there planning that and I thought ‘what would I want to see if I was a mini-team rugby coach or a spectator?’ and 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 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, that when they come to play for England they can seize their opportunities and play without fear.”