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New English rugby coach wrong choice, says Cohen

By The Crowd, The Crowd is a Roar Guru

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    World Cup-winner Ben Cohen insisted England had made a mistake after announcing Stuart Lancaster as their new full-time head coach on Thursday.

    Lancaster received the job on a permanent basis after, as interim coach, guiding England to four wins out of five in the Six Nations following Martin Johnson’s post-World Cup resignation as team manager.

    In the process, Lancaster – previously coach of England’s development Saxons, saw off a challenge for the full-time England job from vastly more experienced former South African and Italian coach Nick Mallett, with the likes of ex-Springbok supremo Jake White and New Zealand’s Wayne Smith dropping out of contention along the way.

    Lancaster has been appointed to take England to the 2015 Rugby World Cup on home soil.

    But former winger Cohen, a member of the only England team to win the World Cup back in 2003, when Clive Woodward was coach and Johnson captain, told Talksport Radio: “I don’t think he is the right man.

    “I think he is a man to keep around the squad for the future most definitely and have someone with a bit of experience around that who has maybe got experience in World Cups.

    “Nick Mallett has got credentials coming out of his ears – he has got a great CV. And Wayne Smith – they are people who know how to react in tough times.”

    England travel to South Africa for a three-Test series in June before facing the Springboks at Twickenham later this year, with Australia, world champions New Zealand and Fiji also coming to London to take on Lancaster’s side.

    If England are not in the top four of the International Rugby Board rankings by December, they will miss out on a top seeding for the World Cup and that could harm their hopes of lifting the Webb Ellis Trophy for a second time.

    “Let’s be frank. You look at the Six Nations as a honeymoon period and there are testing times to come ahead,” Cohen said.

    “Yes, he will learn from every game and every situation he has and he has got four years to build up to the World Cup but you want someone who has got experience of managing through that. That’s how I see it.

    “Hopefully, I am wrong and I will have egg on my face in 18 months’ time.

    “Will he have the experience and will he have the coaching team he had in the Six Nations? I think it is going to be a watch-this-space scenario,” added Cohen, who retired last year.

    However, Lancaster’s appointment was welcomed by current England players, with prop Alex Corbisiero saying on Twitter: “Right decision has been made.”

    Five-eighth Danny Cipriani, who will be back in England contention next season when he joins Sale from the Melbourne Rebels, tweeted: “Congratulations to Stuart Lancaster. His passion is 2nd to none.”

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (14)

    • March 30th 2012 @ 11:23am
      Bakkies said | March 30th 2012 @ 11:23am | ! Report

      I think England’s so called good performances in the 6 Nations was overstated. I thought they were mediocre at best and benefited from just being higher than France in those stakes.

      – The attack was lateral and counter attack was poor (apart from the France game). Ashton, Strettle and Sharples were non entities. Foden only really fronted up against the French. Watched Foden and Ashton play for Northampton on the weekend and they were back to their best.
      – Made too many soft errors (particularly Foden coughing up two tries against Italy, Croft butchering an easy try opportunity against Ireland and Lawes having the ball ripped off him by the Welsh replacement winger)
      – Were ordinary against Italy and Scotland and lucky to win both matches
      – The backrow wasn’t imposing at the breakdown. Sure Morgan made some metres with ball in hand but teams will work him out.
      – Only got on top of the Irish due to the scrum and mistakes. They didn’t look like scoring a try in the first half and the backrow was matched at the breakdown. With the scrum disintegrating Ireland deteriorated and lost interest in the forwards.

      • March 30th 2012 @ 8:49pm
        Ben S said | March 30th 2012 @ 8:49pm | ! Report

        I kind of agree, but it’s hard to be critical when the side averages something like 18 caps per man. Scotland took most teams close, and the Italy game was played out in ridiculous conditions. A last minute rip off of Lawes doesn’t mean England didn’t play very well, and England dominated France and Ireland physically. You can’t expect a team like that go out and rip the world apart.

        I was disappointed with some of the selections – thought they were unbalanced, but overall there’s positive things to build on. I’m not sure he’s the right man, but most of the things you say could be levelled at all the other 6N sides. Just seems like negativity for the sake of it because it’s England.

    • March 30th 2012 @ 1:21pm
      Albo said | March 30th 2012 @ 1:21pm | ! Report

      I don’t think Ben Cohen should be talking about wrong choices…

      … His ”body suit’ should attest to that.

    • March 30th 2012 @ 2:09pm
      Jock said | March 30th 2012 @ 2:09pm | ! Report

      It doesn’t matter who was chosen , you are never going to please everyone. Bottom line, Lancaster deserved to be appointed and good luck to him. Personally, i think he will do well.

    • March 30th 2012 @ 3:33pm
      mattamkII said | March 30th 2012 @ 3:33pm | ! Report

      Ben should have spent more time trying to play at least one decent game post 2003….Prior to the RWC he was a gun.

    • March 30th 2012 @ 4:59pm
      The King said | March 30th 2012 @ 4:59pm | ! Report

      I think Lancaster got the Job because he is the only one who is prepared to be bossed around by the English Rugby Board, rather than a coach that will introduce new philosophy and approach to move England to a better level. Now the Aussies and wales have good chances of winning the RWC2015……. because the home game alone won’t cut it for England……….

    • March 30th 2012 @ 5:06pm
      King of the Gorgonites said | March 30th 2012 @ 5:06pm | ! Report

      good call.

      i look froward to seeing the english beat the boks 2-1.

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