Stuart Lancaster to pursue coaching brains trust
Stuart Lancaster believes a British sport brains trust will help move his England rugby union team up the world rankings. Entering his second year as England's head coach, Lancaster intends to repeat the meetings he has had with Sir Dave Brailsford from cycling, cricket's Andy Flower and Roy Hodgson from football, and he described Hodgson as "a coach in the purest sense of the word".
The England squad for the Six Nations' Championship meet in Leeds this evening ahead of the opening match, at home to Scotland on 2 February, two months on from the 38-21 win over the world's No 1 ranked team, New Zealand.
"We're ranked fifth in the world at the moment and we want to improve on that," Lancaster said. "We recognise that one game doesn't mean we've become the world's best team. We've got to make sure we're consistent.
"I met Roy Hodgson – he, to me, is a coach in the purest sense of the word," he added. "If you look at his track record, where he's coached and the level he's coached at, at so many different clubs, there are so many experiences that we talked about that I could tap into, about getting the best out of players and creating winning environments. At club level it's probably unprecedented, his track record.
"I met Andy Flower, and it was the same thing. Football, cricket, and rugby league as well – we all have similar traits when we're national coaches, aiming to create that high-performing culture in a short space of time.
"We meet as much as we can. It makes sense for it to happen more. We all want to learn from each other how to be better. We want to be world-leading in sport."
Lancaster has recruited sports scientist Matt Parker from British Cycling, and said: "At this level very small margins can win or lose games. Dave Brailsford is a hugely impressive man. He's done a great job in taking cycling from where we were good and competitive in world sport to being world leaders.
"He surrounded himself with great people and it's a model we'd like to replicate; a team the people in Britain are proud of, and rightly so. The main thing from Dave was about the quality of people you get around you. You've seen what he's achieved in the last year – he's been knighted and won coach of the year at the BBC Sports Personality. If we can take a little piece of that it would be good."
Lancaster showed Hodgson a presentation about handling players from different clubs and setting aside loyalties. "They're club players the majority of the time," said Lancaster. "It's about how you get players from different clubs that one week are playing against each other to get together to play for each other and for the team. When we went to South Africa [in June] was an example. We had a big club game in the Premiership final just before we left, we had players coming from the two teams [Harlequins and Leicester]. To get them to put that to one side and move on to playing for England against South Africa was a challenge.
"But the players are brilliant at it now, they recognise the difference between the two, and they can put that inter-club rivalry to bed. I want to make sure we've got that club environment and club feel in an international team so it feels like their second club.
"Expectations have been raised on the back of beating New Zealand and it's our responsibility to make sure we hit the ground running in the Six Nations and replicate the intensity and accuracy we put into that performance."
Stuart Lancaster was speaking as an ambassador at the launch of the 2013 NatWest RugbyForce programme
Ashley Cole and Luke Shaw rise to the bait to deny they are the rumoured 'gay England footballer'
Arsenal 4 Everton 1 match report: Revitalised Mesut Özil breathes life into Arsenal
West Bromwich Albion v Manchester United: Is Wayne Rooney really in Robin van Persie’s way at United?
Robin van Persie: Manchester United manager David Moyes a 'little bit surprised' after striker plays 90 minutes for Netherlands day after being sick
Chelsea v Tottenham: Tim Sherwood claims the pressure is off as Spurs look to end dreadful record at Stamford Bridge
- 1 To those who can’t see the point of International Women’s Day: you are the very reason it exists
- 2 International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Orgasm machine to deliver climax at the push of a button
- 5 Liam Neeson turned down James Bond role because late wife Natasha Richardson said she wouldn't marry him if he took it
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Ukraine crisis: Russia dismisses '3am ultimatum' as 'total nonsense'
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
White people become less racist just by moving to more diverse areas, study finds
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’