Saracens in talks with RFU after approach for Andy Farrell

 

England's 2012 RBS 6 Nations coaching team could be reunited in full-time roles during the next few days.

That prospect has moved a step closer following a brief Saracens statement today that "cordial and constructive discussions" have started between themselves and the Rugby Football Union.

Those talks will focus on current Saracens first team coach Andy Farrell, who was part of England's RBS coaching team alongside Stuart Lancaster and Graham Rowntree.

The Saracens statement read: "Saracens and the RFU today started cordial and constructive discussions on the subject of support staff for newly-appointed England coach Stuart Lancaster.

"The club will not provide a running commentary on this process and will make no further comment until the deliberations reach a conclusion."

The RFU yesterday upgraded Six Nations interim head coach Stuart Lancaster to a permanent role on a contract that will incorporate World Cup 2015 in England.

Forwards specialist Graham Rowntree, Press Association Sport understands, is set to follow Lancaster by landing a long-term deal.

And that then leaves the possible sticking point - backs and defence coach Farrell, the dual code rugby international who is Saracens' first team coach and under contract to them.

Lancaster, Rowntree and Farrell - despite being together for just eight weeks - masterminded a second-placed finish in this season's Six Nations.

England won four out of their five Tests, including claiming three away victories for the first time in one Six Nations campaign.

They also went within a converted try of holding eventual Six Nations and Grand Slam champions Wales.

Lancaster has said he knows the coaching team he wants to take England forward, with his next assignment being a three-Test tour of South Africa in June when England will face the Springboks in Durban, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth on successive weekends.

The appointment of Rowntree, who is already on the RFU payroll, is not expected to pose any problems.

But prising Farrell from Saracens may be a trickier proposition, with their chief executive Edward Griffiths insistent today that they do not want to lose him.

The fact that talks are under way, though, suggests Farrell could be on his way to England sooner, rather than later, especially if a satisfactory financial compensation deal can be thrashed out.

Griffiths, speaking before Saracens issued their statement, told BBC Radio Five Live: "The RFU asked if they could loan Andy Farrell for the Six Nations, which we did in the national interest.

"They made it very clear that it was just for the Six Nations.

"He is contracted to us for another two years and he is a massive part of what we're planning here as a club, and that's really the situation.

"We will doubtless talk to the RFU shortly and hear what they have got to say, but from a Saracens perspective Andy is a big part of our club and a big part of our future."

Saracens host Aviva Premiership leaders Harlequins at Wembley tomorrow, when Griffiths can expect further media questioning about Farrell's situation.

Lancaster told Five Live that his thoughts and those of the RFU would now turn to finalising the coaching team.

But the former England Saxons coach is clearly keen for continuity as he looks towards a tour of South Africa, followed by autumn Test appointments with the Springboks, world champions New Zealand, Australia and Fiji.

"There has been an order of events and it has all happened for me very quickly in the sense that the final interview was last week and I was told (of his appointment) in the middle of this week," Lancaster said.

"For the RFU the priority was to get everything out of the way for me and then look at what I had put forward as my preferred coaching team.

"But clearly there is a right way to do these things. The right thing to do is to have the conversations privately, and that is what is going to happen over the course of the next few weeks and we will see how we go.

"From my point of view we had a great Six Nations and I would like to keep moving in that direction."

PA

News
Ben Little, right, is a Labour supporter while Jonathan Rogers supports the Green Party
general election 2015
News
The 91st Hakone Ekiden Qualifier at Showa Kinen Park, Tokyo, 2014
news
Life and Style
Former helicopter pilot Major Tim Peake will become the first UK astronaut in space for over 20 years
food + drinkNothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
News
Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
football
Life and Style
health
Voices
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
news
Life and Style
Buyers of secondhand cars are searching out shades last seen in cop show ‘The Sweeney’
motoringFlares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own