Lancaster to apply for permanent post

England’s caretaker coach Stuart Lancaster has a long-term plan for the Roses and is hoping to extend his tenure beyond the Six Nations.

Lancaster succeeded Martin Johnson after England’s disastrous World Cup campaign and is contracted until the end of the coming Six Nations tournament. He has worked hard to install a new culture in the England side and is hoping to be involved beyond this rebuilding phase.

Reports from England are that Lancaster will apply for the permanent coach position before the mid-February deadline.

‘I love working with players and trying to develop teams and the opportunity to do that at the highest level with England is fantastic,’ he said. ‘But my decisions will be made solely on what I think is best for England to develop long-term into a team capable of getting back to No 1 in the world – it’s not about me.’

England will play Scotland at Murrayfield next week, and a win for England will undoubtedly lift the spirits of a rugby nation in dire need of some good news.

Former Springbok and Italy head coach Nick Mallett has been widely tipped to succeed Johnson on a permanent basis, but if Lancaster leads England to a Six Nations title it will strengthen his bid for a long-term role.