Stuart Lancaster says he has qualities to be England coach


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The Independent Online

Stuart Lancaster believes he has all the qualities the Rugby Football Union will be looking for in the new England head coach - his next job is to convince them.

Lancaster, who led England on an interim basis during the RBS 6 Nations, faces an interview with the RFU's recruitment panel in the coming days.

"I've been on the other side of the fence lots of times, interviewing people for age-grade coaching," Lancaster said.

"You want to see that the candidate is honest, that they've got integrity, that they're forward-thinking and that they've got a broad skill set that matches the job spec.

"Those are things I look for. Clearly, I wouldn't have put myself forward for the job if I didn't think I had those qualities.

"I wouldn't have put myself forward for the interim position.

"I am confident in my ability borne out of 20 years of coaching and I've tried to study leadership and management as much as I can so that I can be the best I can be."

Lancaster started his coaching life as a PE teacher and he is now one of the highest-qualified coaches in the country, with a level five badge.

The lessons Lancaster learned on those courses underpinned his approach towards rebuilding the England team, having taken the reins in the wake of the World Cup debacle.

Lancaster believes the most important part of building a team is in establishing the right culture and then adding tactical and technical coaching on top.

"When all else is equal, team spirit and want is king," Lancaster said.

"The coaching qualifications I did have massively helped my development. It was the level five course that gave me the confidence to kick on.

"It lit a fire really, gave me the understanding that rugby and getting the best out of teams is not just about the on-field stuff.

"It's all the off-field stuff that makes it happen. The course ranged from tactical and technical to leadership. That was the start of it, where you tend to grow as a coach."

Lancaster delivered for England on the field, leading the team to second place in the championship and remarkable victories over France in Paris and Ireland at Twickenham.

But he will also argue that he has laid the foundations for England to begin building towards the home World Cup in 2015 - and he wants to remain at the helm.

"When I was given the role I was asked to present my vision for what would happen during the Six Nations. For me it was about building foundations," Lancaster said.

"We have a good place to go from. I now have to convince the interview panel I am the right person for the job."

Lancaster indicated he would like assistants Graham Rowntree and Andy Farrell, who is under contract with Saracens, to remain part of his team.

"We feel we made progress. I think performances have shown that," he said.