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Sunday, 21 September 2014

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England coach Stuart Lancaster can prove himself against Springboks – Dallaglio

England legend Lawrence Dallaglio believes Stuart Lancaster will get the chance to prove he is the right man to lead the Red Rose during this summer’s tour of South Africa.

Stuart Lancaster photo
Stuart Lancaster

Lancaster guided England to four wins from five in this season’s RBS 6 Nations before being appointed head coach.

The 42-year-old, from Culgaith, near Penrith, has been credited with rebuilding England’s reputation after their disastrous 2011 World Cup campaign and restoring national pride.

His next big challenge is a three-Test series against South Africa in June where his side will face the Springboks in Durban, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth.

Dallaglio, who led England during the reign of Sir Clive Woodward, believes Lancaster is the right man to take the side forward to the 2015 World Cup on home soil. But the former back-row star, who won 85 caps for his country, reckons this summer’s tour will be the first acid test of his reign since stepping up from coaching the second-string England Saxons and being in charge of .

“He certainly deserves the opportunity to continue in that role, there’s no doubt about it,” said Dallaglio.

“His record from the RBS 6 Nations shows how he has turned England’s fortunes round in a very short space of time.

“Four out of five victories in the 6 Nations against much-fancied opposition is a good return. The important thing is that no-one in the England set-up, including Stuart, will get carried away with that.

“Everyone in England knows the real test and real barometer for England will be the summer.

“South Africa is very tough and one of the hardest places to play rugby. I think when they come away from there they will know what they need to do both on a player perspective in terms of the squad but also a coaching perspective.”

However, Dallaglio is confident Lancaster has what it takes to succeed as a national coach.

He added: “Coaching at the highest level is not normally down to one person, it’s down to a number of factors. Stuart and his team will know whether they need to add to that after the tour.”

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