Will it be Lancaster?
22 March 2012
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Now that the Six Nations is over the RFU will soon decide who will be the England Head Coach to take us to the Rugby World Cup in 2015. I’m not qualified to give an in-depth analysis of the contenders but I would like to share with you some of my thoughts and observations.
When Stuart Lancaster talked to Council before the England v Wales game he spoke about the England squad reconnecting with the wider game. After the French and Irish game the players did a circuit of the pitch and applauded the England fans who appreciated the gesture and reciprocated. Whether this will so easy to do after a loss remains to be seen.
At the post-match dinner in Paris, Chris Robshaw made a point of thanking Council Members for their support, something I hadn’t heard from an England captain before. Stuart Lancaster sees Council Members as the link between the England and the community game and this was part of that understanding.
England’s emphatic win over Ireland, set up by a dominant second-half display from the forwards, confirmed the potential of the young squad Stuart has put together and before the post-match dinner I managed to speak to some of them about how it felt to be playing compared to last season. All of them enthused about the way were being allowed to play and the great support they got from the coaches and from the Twickenham crowd.
At the dinner RFU President Willie Wildash thanked the sponsors, the officials and the players, all of whom were warmly applauded, then he thanked Stuart Lancaster for what he had achieved in just eight weeks with the squad, and all 800 guests (except the Irish) got out of their seats and gave him a standing ovation that went on for two or three minutes.
I haven’t seen that happen before and it was clear message from every England supporter in that room about who they think should get the job full-time.