Lancaster Reminds Me Of Woodward

Lancaster Reminds Me Of Woodward

I see a lot of Clive Woodward in Stuart Lancaster’s short tenure in charge of England.

When Clive first came into the job, he inherited a side that was not playing great rugby.

He quickly galvanised a tight-knit unity within the squad, helped them to develop confidence and a real will to win for each other.

Clive’s team believed in what they were doing and, with some clever team selections, England once again became a force to be reckoned with.

They build a head of steam just when it mattered most and famously won the World Cup in 2003.

I am not claiming Lancaster is as experienced or has the coaching know-how of Woodward yet. But there are plenty of similarities with the way he has gone about turning England’s fortunes around during the Six Nations.

He has pulled together a young group of players, picked up some good results and, to put 30 points on Ireland at Twickenham was a cracking way to finish the competition.

Nobody really knows a lot about Lancaster. But he has created a team culture that everyone in that squad has bought in to.

England are really working for each other now. You can see that at every ruck or defensive set-up.

The RFU have apparently been interviewing Lancaster and Nick Mallett last week as they prepare to make a permanent replacement.

It would take a brave man not to appoint Lancaster now.

I also feel that Mallett has not achieved enough in recent years. He did well at South Africa many years ago and has been at Italy recently.

Lancaster and his assistants Andy Farrell and Graham Rowntree are all younger and are probably more in touch with the modern game.

Farrell has lots of contacts and Rowntree is approachable and forward thinking. He is well-respected by players and peers.

With such a good set-up already in place, why change it?

It would surprise me beyond belief if they did.

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