England’s new interim head coach Stuart Lancaster last night vowed to crack down on the cultural and disciplinary problems which contributed to a disastrous World Cup campaign.
Lancaster, an ex-school teacher, has joined forces with Graham Rowntree and Andy Farrell to form a temporary management team that will lead England into the 2012 Six Nations.
The Rugby Football Union currently have a five-man panel, led by Rob Andrew, hunting for the permanent successor to Martin Johnson, who stood down after England’s quarter-final exit at the World Cup.
Leaked reports into England’s failed campaign painted the picture of a dysfunctional squad, riven by a lack of trust with some players motivated more by money than rugby.
Lancaster vowed all that would change on his watch as he outlined plans to build a new environment and blood England’s exciting young players.
“Environment shapes behaviour,” said Lancaster, who spent two weeks on a watching brief with England at the World Cup. “For the first 20 years of my life I came from a small farm in Cumbria where you have to graft and work hard. I spent the second 20 years in Yorkshire, where you get ‘nowt for owt’. There’ll be no airs or graces in this camp or this team.
“I’m a schoolteacher from my old background. A group of pupils can go through five different lessons in a day and behave differently in every lesson because of the standards of the teacher and the values they set.”