Tuilagi backs Lancaster for post
March 13, 2012
Manu Tuilagi is all-smiles © Getty Images
England centre Manu Tuilagi has thrown his weight behind the calls for Stuart Lancaster to get the head coach post on a full-time basis.
Lancaster is competing with former South Africa and Italy boss Nick Mallett for the post and his prospects have improved immeasurably following Sunday's 24-22 victory over France. Fans, players and coaches have endorsed the 42-year-old's credentials to succeed Martin Johnson with Tuilagi the latest to declare he is the ideal candidate.
"Stuart has done a very good job," the Leicester centre said. "Personally I hope he gets the job, but that's not my decision to make. Good luck to him. We'll wait and see."
Lancaster was bombarded with 130 text messages of congratulation following the victory over France, a result that lifted England to fourth in the world rankings. Humbling the pre-tournament favorites in Paris in such thrilling style has further strengthened Lancaster's position, but he is remaining guarded over his prospects.
"I'm level-headed in lots of ways, I guess it's my Cumbrian upbringing where I keep my feet on the ground," he said. "I'm trying to get people to understand it's not about me personally.
"The team is made up of many component parts. I won't be getting carried away, I can assure you. I had probably 130-140 texts after the game, which is an unbelievable number.
"The majority were from people I'd taught at school, from Leeds or from former colleagues. The general tone was expressing pride in the team and pride in the direction the team is going in, which reinforces the belief in the journey we're going on.
"This win definitely reinforces the belief that between the three of us (assistants Andy Farrell and Graham Rowntree) we're definitely going in the right direction."
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