After galvanising an England team in ruins, both on and off the pitch, and guiding his new-look side to second in the 2012 Six Nations – thanks to victories in Edinburgh, Rome, Paris and at home to Ireland, Lancaster was yesterday handed the reins on a permanent basis by the RFU.
Lancaster’s first challenge as permanent coach will be the summer tour to South Africa but already the ex-Leeds Carnegie director of rugby is hoping to guide England to the Webb Ellis Cup – 12 years after Sir Clive Woodward did so.
“There are three things I’d like to bring to the team,” said Lancaster.
“The first is pride, in wearing the shirt and the connection with people. The second is the vision for the future, and that is to win the World Cup in 2015.
“The third is for the players to play without fear, that when they come to play for England they can seize their opportunities and play without fear.”
Lancaster also had a warning for members of the England squad, revealing they must prove their motivation for the trip to South Africa in the remainder of the Premiership season if they want to be selection.
He added: “What happens between the domestic season finishing and the South Africa tour is critical in my mind. Players’ motivation to go to South Africa has to be right.
“We have to get the mind-set right. There’s a huge mental challenge going on that tour so that’s going to be huge for us.”
© Sportsbeat 2012
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