Lancaster, who led England to second place in the RBS 6 Nations earlier this year, wants at least two seasons to nurture his squad before leading them on home soil in 2015.
And after experimenting on the fruitless tour of South Africa – a 2-0 series defeat – Lancaster insists the clock is ticking for his stars to impress.
“We have a World Cup in England in three years’ time and we’re expected, and should be expected, to do very well in it,” he said.
“We’ve one year left to get things up to speed. That will be the end of the development stage and the start of our countdown to the World Cup. I’d like two years of a settled team.”
One player who Lancaster will be keeping a close eye on is Danny Cipriani, now at Sale Sharks, and he will be hoping the 24-year-old can recapture his form.
He added: “We need players with stardust. We need players who can turn a game, and win it, with one flash of world-class star quality.”