Top forward hails Lancaster

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ENGLAND prop Alex Corbisiero has made a strong case for the Rugby Football Union to keep Stuart Lancaster and his interim coaching team in place on a permanent basis.

Lancaster’s bid for the job strengthened every week as England secured second place in the RBS 6 Nations championship, a campaign they rounded off on Saturday with a 30-9 demolition of Ireland.

Jake White has already bowed out of contention and Nick Mallett, thought to be another leading candidate, appears to have conceded the job to Lancaster.

Speaking after England’s triumph over Ireland, Mallett said: “You can’t see the RFU wanting to change a coach when you look at the team and how happy they are.”

And that was exactly the message Corbisiero portrayed after he had played a lead role in the destruction of the Irish scrum.

“I have nothing but great words to say for (forwards coach) Graham Rowntree,” Corbisiero said.

“It is not my decision (what happens with the coaches), but we have all be very impressed with him. He is a guy that commands respect and players want to play for him - you can see that in the whole team.

“You can see that with Stuart Lancaster and Andy Farrell. We have a good environment, we play for each other and we play for the coaches.

“Whatever happens, happens, but there are a lot of positives where we are at the moment.”

Lancaster took the reins on a temporary basis after the World Cup debacle and his new-look team have restored a sense of pride in English rugby and delivered results on the field.

England won at Murrayfield for the first time in eight years and last weekend they ended France’s 10-match unbeaten home run in the championship. Lancaster’s men rounded off the Six Nations with a victory over Ireland founded on a ferocious scrummaging performance, which earned a penalty try and allowed Owen Farrell to kick 20 points.

However, it was Wales who scooped the Grand Slam after they overcame France 16-9 while Scotland finished bottom after losing to Italy.