Lancaster admits competition is tough for ‘fantastic’ England job

Stuart Lancaster

Stuart Lancaster

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INTERIM boss Stuart Lancaster’s odds of retaining his place as England coach have shortened dramatically since last Saturday’s battling RBS Six Nations win over Italy but he admits that he faces stiff competition for the job.

The former Wakefield RFC player and Kettlethorpe High School PE teacher has guided England to a 100 per-cent start in their defence of their title, but he told the Wakefield Express: “I am sure a lot of good coaches from around the world have applied because it is a fantastic job. I will have to see what happens.”

With the RFU now deliberating over the job applications, Lancaster was unwilling to say any more about his chances of getting the permanent role but the gutsy 19-15 win in Rome did them no harm at all.

Lancaster said: “It’s still early days and we are still developing as a group but the players have been great.

“Character is the foundation. They have knuckled down and while there is still progress to make, I am very pleased to have two away wins.”

While Lancaster can now look forward to a game on home turf, the visit of unbeaten Wales to Twickenham on February 25 will be a massive test for his new-look squad.

He said: “Wales are consistent, playing well and they will be confident but we will have the home fans behind us.”

While Lancaster has stated his desire to have stability within his Six Nations team selections, he also added: “There are no rules that say you have to stick with a winning team.

“You have to put the team first and every situation and game is different so if we have to change things then we will.”

One player who is set to remain within Lancaster’s team however is Chris Robshaw, who will remain England skipper until the end of the Six Nations.

Lancaster said: “Chris has contributed a lot. He has done a great job and showed his leadership qualities both on and off the pitch.”

Read today’s Wakefield Express for more on this story and the latest sports news.