ENGLAND’S new interim head coach Stuart Lancaster intends to rule with an iron fist in an attempt to eradicate the disciplinary issues and laddish culture which undermined the Red Rose’s abysmal World Cup campaign.
Lancaster, the England Saxons coach, along with former internationals Graham Rowntree and Andy Farrell were yesterday unveiled by the Rugby Football Union as the temporary management team that will lead England into the 2012 Six Nations.
Damaging leaked reports into England’s World Cup horror show, which ended in abject defeat against France in the quarter finals, painted the picture of a dysfunctional squad, motivated by money rather than sporting glory. But 42-year-old Lancaster insists that sort of attitude will not be tolerated while he is at the helm.
“Environment shapes behaviour,” said Lancaster, who spent two weeks on a watching brief with England at the World Cup.
“For the first 20 years of my life I came from a small farm in Cumbria where you have to graft and work hard. I spent the second 20 years in Yorkshire, where you get ‘nowt for owt’. There’ll be no airs or graces in this camp or this team.
“I’m a schoolteacher from my old background. A group of pupils can go through five different lessons in a day and behave differently in every lesson because of the standards of the teacher and the values they set.
“Little things to me are important. Things like being on time and being courteous at all times. We have to get back to the sense where we are all in it together. It serves no purpose to blame and counter blame.
“If we give a strong enough reason to the players about why it’s important to be responsible and be respectful of the rose and what the rose represents then everything falls into line behind that.
“I’m confident in our ability to create the right environment and the right vision that they’ll come motivated and desperate to get back on the field to represent England and improve on where we finished the World Cup.”
Rowntree is the only member of England’s senior World Cup management team to be retained and he will take charge of the forwards. Farrell, who worked with Lancaster in the Saxons last year, has been recruited from Saracens and will oversee the backs and defence.
“If I had to pick a coaching team, this would be it,” added Lancaster.
There is no place in the interim England set-up for defence coach Mike Ford or forwards coach John Wells, who are now engaged in talks with the RFU.