Six Nations 2015: England boss vows to avoid World Cup nightmare
Stuart Lancaster using the Cricket World Cup as an insight to what could await rugby's Red Rose later this year
Stuart Lancaster insists England will be well prepared to avoid an early exit at the Rugby World Cup in September.
As hosts of the tournament, there will be extra pressure for the Red Rose to deliver, and head coach Lancaster has just six months left to prepare for the biggest tournament of his career with Wales, Australia, Fiji and Uruguay standing in the same pool.
I don’t think anyone would do anything other than empathise, but it reinforces to me the need for us to be as best prepared as we can be for our big challenge in six months.
Stuart Lancaster on avoiding a World Cup disaster
And he was handed a timely reminder of how easy it can go wrong as the England cricket team crashed out of the Cricket World Cup in Australia on Monday morning after defeat to Bangladesh in the pool stages.
The calls have already started from former players for Moores to be sacked after England’s disastrous campaign that has yielded just one win, against Scotland, from their first four matches.
Lancaster admits that it was disappointing to see his cricket counterpart go through a tough campaign, but will use the latest English sporting disaster as a warning of what could happen.
“It’s hugely disappointing to see the cricket guys go out,” Lancaster said.
“I have a massive game on Saturday and another one the following Saturday, but you can’t help thinking ahead to what September is going to look and feel like.
“With it being in our own country, the pressure and the expectation on the team is going to be huge.
“I don’t know Peter Moores that well, but any coach can empathise with another coach from their country who has gone through a difficult World Cup campaign.
“I don’t think anyone would do anything other than empathise, but it reinforces to me the need for us to be as best prepared as we can be for our big challenge in six months.”
Back in the world of rugby union, England suffered a first defeat in this year’s RBS 6 Nations to Ireland in Dublin nine days ago, which dented their hopes of a first title since 2011, but they are expected to bounce back with a win when they take on Scotland at Twickenham this Saturday.
Lancaster remains focused on delivering a team that is as best prepared for the next game, as much as for the ultra-competitive World Cup campaign he will go through later this year.
The England boss has seen a further three players, including Saracens centre Brad Barritt, ruled out of the rest of the tournament ahead of the Calcutta Cup clash.
“We are trying to find out about players and that is why, in terms of selection, we won’t make too many changes,” Lancaster added.
“But if there are one or two they could be centred around looking at our options towards the World Cup, as well as winning the next game.”
England are expected to recall full-back Mike Brown, who sat out the defeat to Ireland with concussion.
The Harlequins star has made a return to full contact training and should replace Alex Goode, who deputised in Dublin.
Northampton Saints lock Courtney Lawes is also tipped for a return to the starting XV after missing the opening three matches with an ankle injury.
Lawes, who was an integral part of the England pack in 2014, has come through two appearances for his club and looks set to replace George Kruis or Dave Attwood.