independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

England coach Lancaster backs skipper Robshaw after penalty row

ENGLAND coach Stuart Lancaster threw his support behind embattled captain Chris Robshaw today and stressed there were no divisions in the leadership.

Robshaw's decision-making has been under the microscope after he instructed Owen Farrell to kick a penalty goal when England were trailing South Africa 16-12 with just over two minutes remaining.

Farrell openly disagreed with Robshaw's decision on the field and the discussions continued down the tunnel and on into the changing room.

The week before, against Australia, Toby Flood kicked a penalty for the corner as England chased the game when Robshaw appeared ready to take the three points.

But Lancaster insisted the squad were unified in their backing of Robshaw, who had led from the front against the Springboks with a Herculean individual performance.

"Chris has done a fantastic job for us and we are 100pc behind him,” Lancaster said.

"When I was captain, you always tend to have a debate with your fly-half because you have the decision between you - is it in your range, should we go for the corner?

"I am not concerned we have a split or a leadership dynamic that is causing me problems as a coach.

"I saw Chris on my own (when he came back into camp last night) and he was a bit flat.

"But I saw him a little bit later and he said 'I feel so much better because everyone has come up to me and said don`t worry about it, we are all behind you`.

"I am proud of the team they have behaved in that regard."

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