STUART Lancaster’s appointment as England head coach is, I think, a good move.
Nick Mallett would have done a good job as well, but after a very good Six Nations Lancaster deserves an opportunity to go forward with this job.
I do believe, however, that it will become more difficult for Lancaster from now on, because expectations before the Six Nations were very low, and I just think that being an international coach is very difficult, because people are very unforgiving.
The downside of international rugby is that people are not patient. It’s not like at a club side, where a coach can come in and say: “We’re going to build something for the future.” There is no patience at Test level.
The sooner that Stuart realizes that the better. If he starts talking in terms of needing patience, it’s going to be a failure already. In my opinion, he must stand up and get results – it’s basically as simple as that.
In the Premiership, meanwhile, we’re in the business end of the season and a win over Harlequins at Wembley tomorrow would give us an important psychological advantage before the play-offs.
Quins have had a good season, and have great players in critical positions – like No8 Nick Easter, scrum-half Danny Care, fly-half Nick Evans, back Jordan Turner-Hall and Mike Brown at full-back.
They will give us a big test. They started the season running a lot, playing with ball in hand, but have become more conservative, using a kicking game, later in the campaign, so I’ll be interested to see what game they bring.
Finally, Saracens are close to an incredibly important move to Barnet’s Copthall Stadium. A 90-year lease shows we are serious about longevity and a long-term home is the one thing the club is missing.
Brendan Venter is technical director of Saracens. They face Harlequins at Wembley tomorrow. For tickets visit www.saracens.com or call 0844 847 1876.