UPDATE: RFU confirm appointment of Lancaster, Rowntree, Farrell

The RFU have confirmed that Stuart Lancaster, Graham Rowntree and Andy Farrell will take charge during the upcoming Six Nations tournament, whilst the recruitment of a long-term coach continues. The appointments rule out the possibility of Brian Ashton and John Kirwan taking charge, with the RFU preferring to promote from within along with bringing in Farrell from Saracens.

Lancaster, who comfortably won our vote for England’s interim coach on Tuesday with 55% of the vote, is promoted from the England Saxons, with Graham Rowntree also technically promoted from scrummaging coach to forwards coach. We will be tweeting live updates from the Press Conference this afternoon at 5:30.

England’s Six Nations fixtures under Lancaster, Rowntree and Farrell:

4/2/12 – Scotland v England (Murrayfield)
11/2/12 – Italy v England (Stadio Olimpico)
25/2/12 – England v Wales (Twickenham)
11/3/12 – France v England (Stade de France)
17/3/12 – England v Ireland (Twickenham)

How well can England do with these men in charge? Is a championship impossible? Give us your thoughts.

23 thoughts on “UPDATE: RFU confirm appointment of Lancaster, Rowntree, Farrell

  1. I think this is the best situation we could have hoped for. I must admit I am not clued up on what Farrell’s job is at Saracens so I can’t really comment on that. But Lancaster has done excellent work with the Saxons in recent years, and he will know a lot of the younger players through that connection. It might also be interesting to see how many of those players he decides to blood in the Championship.

    Graham Rowntree is a good shout, he was probably the only one to come away from New Zealand without a blemish on his record. He was the Lions scrummage coach, and so is easily qualified to take on the job.

    As for a Championship, I honestly don’t think the coaches will make a lot of difference, simply because I think that Wales and France are the ones to watch this season. France will have home advantage, and if Wales play like they did in New Zealand than we will struggle with them in HQ.

    I think we are realistically looking at at least a year before England Rugby can contend again. To many retirees and strife for it to blossom this soon.

  2. Is a Championship possible? YES

    It’s possible but depends on so many factors. Will team selection be right? Will the game plan allow them to play or keep them from doing so? Will there be enough passion and desire on the pitch?

    All basic grass roots stuff but this is a simple grass roots thing. Heads up rugby, desire to win, pride in the jersey and coaching & management staff that will let the guys loose to play rugby.

    A notable difference since the professional era is that in England we seem to adopt a policy of “playing not to lose” rather than “playing to win” as we see in other nations.

    Good defence is important but if the opposition run in a few tries it’s fine so long as we run in a few more.

    Dammit, this is all so simple, maybe I’ll apply for the job!!!!!

    I had the pleasure of spending some time with the England team during the great Woodward era. I ask the question – were those guys better than the ones we can pick from today? Two or three – maybe. We have a great EPS and the option to put down a world beating team sheet so is a championship possible? YES.

    Let’s just hope that we can leave behind the politics and the Union and get a bunch of blokes out there who train their arses off and put it all together on the pitch.

    Oh, and if the English media wouldn’t mind, just for once, getting behind a national team, I’m sure that wouldn’t do any harm.

    Have we got a captain yet?

  3. Fairly happy with this team. With the players we have and a sensible game structure in place, I think we have a chance of winning the championship. We are one of four with a chance however. Agree that we need a captain.

    HOWEVER what’s going on with this “The RFU will confirm later today”!!!!!!!!!!! This is another bloomin’ leak. Why can’t the RFU just keep news to themselves until it is time for the press conference. It’s so infuriating given what’s gone on recently (and lest we forget for a very long time!). I can’t be the only one who feels this way.

    1. Right with you Staggy. The RFU are showing themselves to be a disorganised, unprofessional, childish, petty, judgemental, reactive bunch of clowns.

      1. Damn, back to evening classes it is then!! Just checking, but your not the Rob who is one of our partners are you, and is remarkably pedantic about punctuation? If you are then I’m not the manager of one of the other departments who should be working!

  4. Farrell’s inclusion is a surprise, but a welcome one. I think the main point here is that we have three guys here who have little loyalty to the players bowing out as it were.

    Rowntree has done a good job with the players that have come through in recent years in the tight five.

    Bringing in Farrell is a good call because he has done a great job both as skills coach and first team coach at Sarries. In his first two years of coaching he has helped take a team to two Premiership finals, winning one in the process.

    Lancaster has proved he knows how to steer a ship, and has done some good work with the Saxons.

    If they pick the right players, I still think we can win the Six Nations. Wales and France will be tough, but any new players brought in will have something to prove, just look at Wales.

    1. I wouldn’t write off Ireland. Depends what mood their in. Scotland could be a wild card to win some games, but not the championship. Going to be tight this year!

  5. Also just wondering why Rob Andrew was chairing the committee to find the next England coach when the England team is no longer part of his remit?

    1. I think RA is head of a department that is overseeing certain roles that would normally be the responsibility of the CEO. Since we don’t have one yet, he is the man who is trusted to head up that committee.

      1. It’s amazing how he has had roles taken away from him, but because there is no CEO he ends up doing them anyway. What a shambles!

  6. I’m struggling to get too excited about this. They are interim coaches and not long term answers, and whilst there’s a slim chance they’ll be kept on in some capacity, the new CEO (due to be appointed next week) will want to have his own say so I very much doubt it.

    I’m pretty fed up with the whole charade to be honest, but give me a few weeks and I’ll be desperate for the Six Nations to start!

    1. Actually I am fairly excited about this, as it is a line in the sand. The future starts here. It’s possible that we will end up with ground hog day, but I (along with the fans of most sports) become irrationally optimistic when a new manager is appointed, even if only caretaker. I’m also happy that this does appear to be the RFU actually doing the right thing (even if the news was leaked by way of briefing to the press rather than at the press conference at 5.30pm – well you can’t expect miracles overnight!).

      1. I don’t think the future does start here…I think it starts in April or May when Nick Mallett gets appointed. It will be interesting to see who they pick, and hopefully they’ll get some of the younger guys that we’ve been banging on about on here!

        Rob Andrew says thanks for running the poll by the way. That’s how he chose Lancaster as coach.

        1. So what you’re saying is that the future starts with this blog! Do you think he’ll thank the blog if a poll is done about his future!

  7. Interseting appointments.
    Evidently Farrell took some persuading, having turned it down initially, the Sarries management “persuaded” him to give it a crack.
    Expect Si Hardy (lineout) and Jon Callard (kicking) to be added as specialist coaches and (apart from Rowntree) you have the very succesful Saxons coaching team from the past 3 years.
    Good luck to them.
    I would happily sacrifice a successful 6N for some solid and positive player/squad development.

  8. Very interested to see if they keep the same group of players, or if they have the balls to bring through players that should be in the EPS. Also, does anyone know if the “interim” management/coaching team stand to get the permanent position if they do a good job? Hoping to see a team looking something like this for the 6N’s. Thoughts?

    1. Corbisiero
    2. Hartley
    3. Cole
    4. Lawes
    5. Attwood
    6. Wood
    7. Robshaw (c)
    8. Dowson
    9. Youngs
    10. Flood
    11. Sharples
    12. Barritt/Twelvetrees
    13. Tuilagi
    14. Ashton
    15. Foden

    16. Joe Gray/Jamie George
    17. Marler/Stevens
    18. Gaskell/Robson/Botha
    19. Croft/Narraway
    20. Care
    21. Farrel
    22. Brown/Goode

  9. Just read this. Definitely encouraging!

    “Lancaster outlined a vision involving great change. He wants to preside over a revival in discipline and standards, but also greater attacking ambition and the emergence of talented rookies in the England rank. He hinted that there would be an overhaul of the squad next month, saying: ‘We want to look at new players and give them a chance in the Six Nations, no doubt about it.”

    About bloody time

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