New boss Lancaster demands character from England players

Stuart Lancaster
Stuart Lancaster

NEWLY-appointed interim head coach Stuart Lancaster has told the Wakefield Express that talent alone will not be enough to earn players a place in his England team.

Former Wakefield RFC forward Lancaster, 42, was named as Martin Johnson’s successor at the helm of the England squad last week, describing his appointment as “a great honour and privilege”.

However, he has already thrown down the gauntlet to the players saying that they will need to demonstrate “character and hard work” if they are to secure a place in his squad.

He said: “I have been given the responsibility and accountability that comes with being England manager and I am going to give it my best shot.

“Team selection is going to be important of course but it’s not about talent alone. If we want to be the best team in the world we need to have character and hard work.”

Lancaster is also keen to bring through the next generation of players, with whom he has already forged a good working relationship, and re-energise England before their Six Nations opener at Murrayfield in February.

He said: “The emphasis will be looking at younger players.

“It is hard to get international experience without playing and some of them have already played massive games against international-standard opponents.”

Read today’s Wakefield Express for more on this story.