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England rugby boss Lancaster outlines World Cup vision

PublishDate:2012-06-11 Source: Author:

Stuart Lancaster outlined his vision for England to win the 2015 Rugby World Cup on home soil after being appointed as the team's new permanent head coach here on Thursday.

Lancaster, 42, saw off a challenge from former South Africa and Italy coach Nick Mallett to get the job on a full-time basis after, as interim coach, guiding England to four wins out of five in this season's Six Nations, culminating with a 30-9 win over Ireland at Twickenham earlier this month.

The former Leeds and England reserve Saxons boss said his appointment marked the "pinnacle" of a coaching career that had seen him in charge of teams at every level from Under-11.

"It's a huge honour, when I look at my coaching journey, I've coached at every level of the game from Under-11s," Lancaster told a Twickenham news conference.

"It's been everything I've worked towards in terms of coaching, as a guy who came through teacher education college, 10 years as a teacher, five at Leeds and three with England.

"It's a shot in the arm for all those who believe in coaching."

Lancaster's first series as full-time coach will be a three-Test tour of South Africa in June, which threatens to be a far more severe examination of his youthful England team than anything they came across in a middling Six Nations.

"I was sat in Leeds last night at West Park Leeds having coached Under-11s talking about the tour, not of South Africa but (the Under-11s tour of) Scarborough and I was thinking about the things I want to see as Under-11s coach, as a parent and there were three things.

"I wanted there to be pride in wearing the shirt and to have a vision for the future and direct people's energy through that vision and that vision is to win the World Cup in 2015.

"And the third is to create an environment where players play without fear and have an opportunity to express themselves."

Lancaster was given a caretaker role after Martin Johnson -- England's 2003 World Cup winning captain but someone with no prior coaching experience -- resigned as England manager after last year's World Cup in New Zealand where the team failed to reach the semi-finals and several players were involved in embarrassing off-field incidents that suggested officials had lost control.

But, as well as England's Six Nations results, Lancaster won plaudits for the way in which a team that had been characterised as arrogant and out of touch, re-connected with the rest of English rugby.

"Does it help you win rugby matches? You still need to perform but it's a massive part of it," he said.

"I've had a debrief and the feedback gives me strength and confidence in my ability because it's all unbelievably positive and that's only in eight weeks."

Newly-appointed RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie said Lancaster had been his choice and the unanimous selection of an advisory panel that included former England internationals Richard Hill, Rob Andrew, London Irish coach Conor O'Shea, the former Ireland full-back and Ian McGeechan, the former Scotland and British and Irish Lions coach now in charge of Bath.

"I don't see it as a gamble, Stuart must think he's been interviewed since December. There was strong competition, he ticks all of the boxes we need."

As for Lancaster's nationality, Ritchie said: "It's a bonus. We wanted the best candidate and somebody to put us in the best place to be competitive to win the World Cup."

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