Lancaster keen to plead his case

by Setanta Staff , 21 March 2012

Interim England coach Stuart Lancaster is confident that he possesses the skills required to take the job on a full-time basis.

The former Saxons chief stepped in to help out the Red Rose after Martin Johnson's tenure came to an end and he guided England to second place in the Six Nations, with four victories and one narrow defeat to Wales in the tournament.

The 42-year-old has received glowing reports from both the England players and his fellow coaches and there is a groundswell of support behind his attempt to become the next permanent England coach.

Interviews will begin in the coming days and Lancaster has made no secret of his desire to stay as England coach after getting a taste of the big time over the past couple of months.

The Penrith-born tactician appears to have galvanised and revamped an England squad that fell apart under Johnson and were woeful at last year's World Cup in New Zealand.

A number of high-profile names have been linked to the top job in English rugby but Lancaster is convinced that he has what it takes and admits he knows what a candidate should possess to convince his possible future employers.

"I've been on the other side of the fence lots of times, interviewing people for age-grade coaching," he told reporters. "You want to see that the candidate is honest, that they've got integrity, that they're forward-thinking and that they've got a broad skill set that matches the job spec."

And having outlined what he would look for in a possible head coach, the Cumbrian feels that he has worked hard over the past two decades to fulfil the criteria needed to coach England.

"Clearly, I wouldn't have put myself forward for the job if I didn't think I had those qualities," he added. "I wouldn't have put myself forward for the interim position.

"I am confident in my ability borne out of 20 years of coaching and I've tried to study leadership and management as much as I can so that I can be the best I can be."

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