2013 British & Irish Lions
Lancaster lauds England's Lions duo
December 12, 2012
Graham Rowntree (l) and Andy Farrell (r) will tour with the Lions in 2013 © Getty Images
England boss Stuart Lancaster has paid tribute to Andy Farrell and Graham Rowntree following the confirmation of their appointments as assistant coaches on the forthcoming British & Irish Lions tour of Australia.
Lions boss Warren Gatland unveiled the duo as part of his coaching team on Wednesday and they will be joined by Wales interim coach Rob Howley in the historic team's backroom staff. Farrell and Rowntree have worked alongside Lancaster since the 2012 Six Nations when Lancaster and Farrell took on interim roles.
Lancaster and Farrell, alongside Mike Catt, have since landed full-time roles with England and Lancaster believes that the Rowntree and Farrell's inclusion on the Lions tour is indicative of the good work England are doing on the field.
"I am delighted for Andy and Graham," Lancaster said. "They have worked hard to achieve this honour and it is a credit to them, the England team and the RFU that they have been asked to coach the best players from the Home Unions. They, along with Mike Catt, are fundamental to what we are trying to build with England and I know they will return from Australia with new skills which will benefit us. We wish them and the Lions every success."
Farrell and Rowntree will be joined by three other members of the England management - senior physiotherapist Phil Pask, national fitness coach Paul Stridgeon and senior England teams media manager Dave Barton. Lancaster added: "To have five representatives from England's coaching and management team represent the Lions is testament to their skills and expertise in their fields. They all have a 'team first' attitude which will serve the Lions well."
Lancaster may now opt to bolster his backroom staff on a temporary basis for England's tour to Argentina in the summer of 2013. He added: "We will confirm the coaching and support teams for the Barbarians match and the tour to Argentina over the coming months but in the meantime we are all fully focussed on preparing for the Scotland match on February 2."
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