England coach Lancaster comes out fighting for his job

Stuart Lancaster has stepped down as England coach

Under fire England head coach Stuart Lancaster has come out fighting for his position after a week of attacks and says that he backs himself on account of his overall record since taking charge of England.

Forty-five-year-old Lancaster took charge of England for the 2012 Six Nations replacing Martin Johnson and after England came second in the tournament his contract was extended.

Lancaster was recently signed up until 2020 by the Rugby Football Union but after England were knocked out of the world cup before the quarter final stage his position has come under serious pressure.

The England head coach is not the only person in the England camp as captain Chris Robshaw has also come under fire as well as RFU Boss Ian Ritchie.

England will play their final Rugby World cup match this Saturday against Uruguay and then a review of England’s campaign is expected to begin with special attention being paid to Lancaster’s postion.

The England coach was the first coach to taste victory over New Zealand since their Rugby World Cup triumph in 2011 and of the three teams (England, South Africa and Australia) that have beaten the All Blacks, England winning margin was by far the greatest.

Lancaster has led England to four second place Six Nations titles and the last two were both decided on points difference and he says with his record and experience he should stay on.

“I’ve had 45 games in charge now so that makes me the second most experienced England coach, I think. My win percentage hasn’t been high enough because I didn’t win all the games.

“I obviously back myself. We’ve beaten every international team along the way.”

“But obviously you get judged on one thing,” said Lancaster referring to the Rugby World Cup.

“For 70 minutes against Wales we were in charge (England led by 10 points on three occasions) and we lost the game. Against Australia, there were times we were on top. Results define coaching decisions but there’s other things I take confidence from.”

Lancaster, who has been slammed for his selection policy both for the overall squad and the matchdays XV, said he thought what he had implemented concerning the structure should be retained.

“I would say no, but then I would say that, wouldn’t I?” said Lancaster. “Because I built it. Things need to be done better, there’s no doubt about it.”

He also mounted a strong defence of Robshaw, who was a surprise choice by Lancaster as captain in 2012 as he only had one cap to his name, though as a player many have suggested he wasn’t good enough to play for England.

“Forty-odd games he’s played at seven for England and he’s got man of the match, I think, in double figures,” said Lancaster.

“At the weekend it wasn’t a Robshaw failure that (David) Pocock turned the ball over, it was a team failure.

“Pocock turned the ball over five times, we did so three times. It’s tough on him to hold one person accountable.”

Lancaster, who has at least been credited with restoring the England team’s image off the pitch which was in shreds when he took over, made light of the media blitz that has lampooned him and Robshaw in particular.

“It depends on which blizzard you read or get involved in with your snow goggles,” said Lancaster.

“I didn’t need to read it to know what was being said. Emotions were high and rightly so. Our objective was to win the World Cup and we didn’t get out of the group stages.”

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