Lancaster to review coaching team
June 24, 2012
RFU chief executive Ian Richie flanks England head coach Stuart Lancaster face the media in Port Elizabeth © Getty Images
England head coach Stuart Lancaster is set to consider the make-up of his coaching team following England's three-Test tour to South Africa.
Lancaster was assisted by forward's coach Graham Rowntree and backs' coach Mike Catt, while Jonathan Callard and Simon Hardy were in charge of the midweek team that won their two matches against the South African Barbarians (north) and the South African Barbarians (south).
Catt has already said he would be interested in a full-time role with England, while Andy Farrell is back on the market. He coached England's defence in the Six Nations, but turned down a full-time role to remain with Saracens, who he then subsequently left at the season's end.
"In terms of the coaching team, we have all been flat out from minute one," Lancaster said. "Mike has been fantastic while Simon Hardy and Jon Callard have contributed fully to the tour. We will have a good sit down and think about the composition of the coaching team going forward. Our next staging post is the EPS squad, which will be announced in a couple of weeks."
England took a 42-man squad to South Africa, but left with a 2-0 series loss after defeat in the first and second Test matches. A 14-14 draw in the third Test meant that they avoided a series whitewash and stopped a run of nine consecutive losses to the Springboks. It leaves Lancaster with four wins, four losses and a draw since he took over as head coach at the start of the year.
"It has been a fantastic opportunity to take a wider group of players and work with them," Lancaster said. "That has been the real benefit of the tour, getting a real understanding of the strengths and areas we need to look at to go forward. We should be getting to a point as a team where we are competitive and winning every game has got to be the mindset. We have now got a team of young players and experienced players coming through together in an environment they enjoy and the culture is strong. I think it augurs well for the future."
A number of young players have been able to establish themselves in the senior set-up and prop Joe Marler, centre Jonathan Joseph and fullback Alex Goode were all given their debuts on tour.
"In the last Test we could have used every excuse not to put in a performance but we didn't. We rolled our sleeves up and fought to the end. We possibly could have edged it at the end. In certain positions we have got real strength in depth. You can see in some cases a slight changing of the guard taking place with a new generation coming through. Last night (positions) 10, 12 and 13 were under-21s. Joe Marler is just 21, Alex Goode 24."
Rugby Football Union chief executive Ian Ritchie has also welcomed the progress the side has made on tour but has warned there is no room for complacency. "We start off from a presumption we want to win every game and we look at what happened during the tour on that basis," he said. "That said, I think that we achieved a lot. Yesterday's performance was a committed one, to come here and get a draw - history proves how difficult it is to come here and win.
"I think in all three games we were competitive. We want to do better and we will do better but there are a lot of positives to take out of the whole tour and we can look forward to the autumn series with confidence. To get to the third match and put in the performance we did after a tiring season was a real achievement but - make no bones about it - we want to make sure this is a platform to move on and do even better."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Tom Hamilton talks to World Cup-winning captain John Smit about life after rugby, his fears over the South African exodus and the World Cup
The reopening of the openside debate, a dominant wolf-pack and a sublime performance in defeat - Monday Maul looks at the weekend's talking points
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the Rugby Championship alongside the best photographs from around the domestic game
Amy Perrett, the Australian referee who whistled the Women's Rugby World Cup final after handling only six Tests, talks to Jamie Lyall