England named Stuart Lancaster as interim head coach for the 6 Nations tournament, where he’ll be assisted by Graham Rowntree and Andy Farrell.
Lancaster, head of elite player development for England’s Rugby Football Union, will replace Martin Johnson, who quit Nov. 16 after the World Cup in New Zealand, the RFU said today on its website. Rowntree is already part of England’s coaching staff, while Farrell will come over from Premiership team Saracens.
“The World Cup was enormously disappointing but we shouldn’t forget that England won 10 out of 13 games this year and a Six Nations title,” Lancaster, 42, said in the statement. “We have a promising group of players to go forward with and the challenge for Graham, Andy and myself is to get the best out of them.”
Lancaster was head coach of Saxons, the country’s development squad, and oversaw elite player development since 2008. Rowntree, 40, played 54 times for England, and was an assistant under Johnson. Farrell, 36, took Saracens to the Premiership title in his first year as coach last season.
England needed a new coach after Johnson’s departure after a disappointing World Cup. A permanent replacement will be named by June, the RFU said last month.
England reached the quarterfinals of the tournament, one step short of its goal, as it dealt with off-field events involving players and staff.
Former captain Mike Tindall was dropped from the squad and fined 25,000 pounds ($39,430) by the RFU after being recorded in a bar with an ex-girlfriend and misleading team officials. He was reinstated to the roster this week following an appeal.
Players Chris Ashton and James Haskell were also fined for allegedly harassing a female staff member at their hotel, while Manu Tuilagi was fined by the RFU and detained by police after jumping off a ferry. Coaches Dave Alred and Paul Stridgeon were suspended for one match for illegally switching balls used for conversions in a win over Romania.
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