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

BUY RUGBY WORLD CUP TICKETS

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent