Five challenges facing England coach Stuart Lancaster
Thursday 29 March 2012
Stuart Lancaster has finally been able to drop the interim tag after
being officially appointed as England's head coach.
Lancaster laid the foundations of a new squad during the RBS 6 Nations and his task now is to build on it and deliver a winning England team at the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
Here, we take a look at five challenges that lie ahead for the former school teacher:
THE HONEYMOON'S OVER: England tackle South Africa four times this year plus Australia, New Zealand and Fiji in a brutal series of fixtures. Some bad results could lead to questions over Lancaster's inexperience. He has vowed to remain true to his principles even in adversity. That is sure to be tested in the coming months.
WORLD CUP SEEDINGS: England are currently fourth in the world rankings and must be there at the end of 2012 to be top seeds at their home World Cup, a tough ask given their fixture schedule. Lancaster plays down the importance of a top seeding but it would guarantee England avoid Australia, New Zealand and South Africa until the knockout stages.
ATTACK ATTACK ATTACK: England were dogged and defiant in the Six Nations but need to add attacking invention and guile to their game. Lancaster is expected to have argued for Andy Farrell to be retained in the England set-up. There has been talk of experienced New Zealand attack specialist Wayne Smith joining the management team.
NATIONAL CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE: This is a medium-term objective but it formed a central part of Lancaster's presentation to the RFU. He believes England need a state of the art training base with indoor and outdoor facilities that can also help develop national age-group teams.
WIN THE WORLD CUP: That is what Lancaster has been recruited to do. Despite his lack of top international experience, Lancaster has convinced the RFU he has the vision required for England to win in 2015 and the ability to put those plans into action over the next three years.
Tour de France 2015: Five riders abandon race after enormous crash on Stage 3
Cristiano Ronaldo storms out of interview after being asked about possible sale of Manchester United target Sergio Ramos
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Kyrgios set for heavy fine for giving up game during loss to Richard Gasquet
Memphis Depay's squad number revealed as he trains with Manchester United for the first time... but is it cursed?
Nick Kyrgios supporters who smeared Vegemite on their face questioned by Serena Williams
- 1 Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
- 2 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 3 Chris Moyles reportedly set to make radio comeback with new breakfast show on XFM
- 4 The Greece debt crisis explained in less than 100 words
- 5 Cristiano Ronaldo storms out of interview after being asked about possible sale of Manchester United target Sergio Ramos
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Sickness and disability benefits could be reduced by £30 a week as part of £12bn welfare cuts