The Rugby Football Union have announced that Stuart Lancaster will be the man to lead England into the 2012 Six Nations tournament.
On the back of a miserable World Cup, Martin Johnson stepped down as coach and was quickly followed by attack coach Brian Smith.
The England Saxons coach Lancaster will head up a new coaching set-up that includes Graham Rowntree – who is retained from the Johnson era – and Andy Farrell.
It means that defence coach Mike Ford and forwards coach John Wells have departed the national set-up and paid the price for the poor World Cup showing – meaning Rowntree, who was much-debated after the tournament for his decision-making, is the only coach retained by the RFU. Those placing England rugby bets should remember this.
After such a poor World Cup there will be high hopes that England can defend a Six Nations title they won 12 months ago, but it remains to be seen how well the new rushed-together coaching trio can come together to benefit the national side.
Lancaster claims the trio are “really excited” about the opportunity and fans will get their first glimpse of the new-look England when the side take on Scotland on the opening weekend of the 2012 Six Nations. People looking at the rugby betting offers should bear this in mind.
“The World Cup was enormously disappointing but we shouldn’t forget that England won 10 out of 13 games this year and a Six Nations title,” said the interim coach.
“We have a promising group of players to go forward with and the challenge for Graham, Andy and myself is to get the best out of them.”
The 2012 Six Nations starts on February 4th when, along with the Scotland versus England game at Murrayfield, France takes on Italy. Ireland then takes on Wales at the Aviva Stadium a day later to complete the first weekend of games.