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Monday, March 19, 2012

American-Born Props Support Lancaster....

First of all, congratulations to Wales for winning the 6 Nations in Grand Slam style.

My advice to Welsh fans would be to enjoy the trophy and the celebration parties in Cardiff, Wrexham and Llanelli. Enjoy it, because England looks to be approaching in the rear-view mirror at warp-speed.

After a very disappointing Rugby World Cup, on and off the pitch; after getting pilloried in the press, having several top flight players retire from international play, many England fans had very, very low expectations, indeed.

The RFU provisionally gave the rudder to this aimless English cruiser to Stuart Lancaster for the duration of the 6 Nations while they looked for a more "suitable" Head Coach. Names like Nick Mallet and Jake White have been discussed. The new skipper was compelled to work with some inexperienced players as his sailors.

I could not watch England-Ireland live on Saturday, because I was playing here in New Mexico,
 but I watched a recording of the match on Sunday. I have been trying to find the right words to express my feelings since then.

In past few weeks, I have seen England beat a very experienced French side(many of whom came THIS close to beating the All Blacks in the RWC final) in Paris in Paris, give the favored Welsh all they could handle in a 7 point loss, and on Saturday in Twickenham, gave the Irish front row a beat-down the likes that I have not seen in a long, long time in a 30-9 demolition at Twickenham. After faltering first steps in a tight wins at Scotland and Italy, England improved as the tournament went on. The Saint Patrick's Day throttling of Ireland at Twickenham should have erased any doubt about if Stuart Lancaster should have the 'Interim coach' title removed from his name.

When I looked at the rugby news on the web today, I was still astonished to see that the RFU is still dragging it's feet in signing Lancaster to a full-time deal.

It seems that I am not the only American-born prop who thinks that the RFU should get on with it and give the full time England job to Stuart Lancaster. Alex Corbisero, the New York City-born England Prop (who had a great tournament) also went on record with the same opinion:

Corbisero is not the only England player who has thrown their support behind Stuart. Frankly, I don't know what else the guy can do to curry favor with the stuffed shirts at the RFU. In my opinion, this is one of the best rebuilding jobs in Europe that did not have "Marshall Plan" next to it. Lancaster has these young kids playing well and they have his back. They will only get better. I just don't see these players leaving it on the field for Nick Mallet, Jake White, or any other imported coach.

If I'm an England fan, I am screaming at the RFU to get on with it and hire this guy as you build towards the rugby orgy that will be RWC England 2015.

For the record, Buddha, my American-born Olde English Bulldog thinks Lancaster should get the job, too.


  1. I think the thing that both England and Wales have in common at the moment is lots of new, young talent. Only time will tell how that develops. As a lifelong Wales fan, I can only hope that Wales retain their edge ;) I have to say though that England have been a pleasure to watch as the 6N progressed. They wobbled a bit at the start, but you could see them grow as a team from match to match.

    At the start of the tournament, my preference would have been Nick Mallet, but I think Lancaster deserves a fair crack of the whip. He's achieved so much in such a short space of time.

  2. If it wasn't given to Lancaster...I would say Jake White. Having spoken to players who were coached by him at SA U21 level, all agree that he his great at creating a team culture and making a game plan around the strengths of your players...rather than creating a game plan and trying to stick square pegs into round holes (a la Nick Mallett).

    Having said that...I think Lancaster deserves his chance. I was nervous for him prior to the tournament but he has come good. Whether they can progress further under him..i'm not totally convinced.

    They still seem to lack structure in attack, but they have shown that they can counter and their set pieces are strong.