• Lancaster extends England stay

    England coach Stuart Lancaster has signed a new long-term deal with the RFU which will keep him in the role until 2020.

    Lancaster’s coaching team, forwards coach Graham Rowntree, backs coach Andy Farrell and attacking skills coach Mike Catt, have also extended their deals as England attempt to build for the future.

    Lancaster's previous deal had been due to run through until after next year's World Cup in England, but the RFU has been happy with the progress made under his guidance and have rewarded him with a new bumper deal.

    'We are lucky to have a talented, committed and passionate coaching group,' said RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie. 'Coaching at international level is unique in that the time Stuart and the coaches have with the players is limited and in that regard it requires a special and stable coaching team.

    'We therefore felt it important to secure their long-term future and we believe this is entirely the right decision for the future of England rugby.'

    Lancaster has been in charge since taking over on a temporary basis from Martin Johnson after England's disastrous 2011 World Cup campaign. He has since led the team to three consecutive second-place finishes in the Six Nations, as well as home victories over Australia and New Zealand, the latter by a record margin.

    'It's great that the RFU have got faith in us as a coaching group and its support has been critical to what we have achieved to date,' said Lancaster. 'We want to build a team to Japan 2019 and beyond. While our focus is on the international against New Zealand and the 2015 World Cup on home soil will be a once-in-a lifetime opportunity, we want to build a team for England rugby that leads into Japan in 2019 and beyond.

    'We believe that England rugby is moving in the right direction, we have the right coaching and management team to take us forward and are excited about the challenge ahead.'

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