Thursday 23 January 2020

Lancaster to keep faith

Stuart Lancaster
Stuart Lancaster

ENGLAND'S interim coach Stuart Lancaster is expected to stick closely to the side that shocked France 24-22 in Paris last weekend when he names his side to take on Ireland today, WRITES HUGH FARRELLY.

Winger David Strettle has recovered from the chest injury that ruled him out against the French and is pushing hard to reclaim his place on the left wing from Charlie Sharples, sin-binned last weekend.

No 8 Phil Dowson is in contention despite being knocked out against France when he collided with Wesley Fofana after diving on a loose ball but England are expected to stick with the Tom Croft, Ben Morgan, Chris Robshaw starting back-row combination that performed so well last weekend.

Meanwhile, Lancaster says he wants to go out and enjoy Saturday's final assignment against Ireland in front of England's home fans at Twickenham and not let the speculation surrounding whether he will get the coaching job on a permanent basis affect his concentration.

"There are things I can control and things I can't, but at the moment I am concentrating on Ireland," said Lancaster."I have always tried to work hard and trust my instincts and ability. What will be, will be. It has always been my plan to build for the long-term future.

"We have chosen to go through the cycle (of introducing new players) early, but we now have three years that will set us up for the next World Cup. I will go out and enjoy Saturday and we will see what happens.

"It is up to the decision-makers and they still have a decision to make."

Irish Independent

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