/ Rugby

Stuart Lancaster has come in for much praise after guiding England to second place in the RBS 6 Nations.

Updated: Tuesday, 20 Mar 2012 19:37

Lancaster's management skills seems to have created a good team spirit within the English camp
Lancaster's management skills seems to have created a good team spirit within the English camp

England's interim coach Stuart Lancaster has been applauded for dragging the national team "out of the gutter" during the RBS 6 Nations.

Lancaster, who took the reins in the wake of England's disastrous World Cup campaign, is expected to interviewed for the full-time position later this week.

Lancaster's bid for the job was fully endorsed by forwards coach Graham Rowntree, who said the environment he had created in the England squad was better than he had ever known.

England finished second in this year's
Six Nations Championship.

"Stuart has dragged us out of the gutter," Rowntree said.

"We failed (at the World Cup) and the whole leaked reports business was messy. That was only a few weeks ago but we've come a long way.

"My over-riding feeling is of pride - but there's a load more to come from this group of players and I'm dying to work with them again. "You can't argue with what he's done, performance-wise and culturally with this group."

"On Saturday night after the official dinner we went back to the hotel and a cracking night but it was tinged with sadness because we felt emotionally the journey was coming to an end.

"I have never felt that before. I have always been ready for home.
"The players have created that environment on the back of Stuart's culture. It was the best I've know as a player and coach - better than Lions because of the place we were in beforehand."

Lancaster persuaded Saracens to loan Andy Farrell to England's interim coaching team but he has now returned to club duty, where he has a two-year contract.

Saracens insist there is no prospect of a permanent job share and that is one issue Lancaster must address when he meets the RFU's interview panel.

Rowntree has relished the tight three-man management group that Lancaster put in place and would like Farrell to continue in his post as backs coach.

"I understand Andy's position (with regards to Saracens) and I admire Andy's loyalty," Rowntree said.

"I have really enjoyed working with him, training with him and drinking with him!"

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