Parent pressure no issue for Lancaster
January 11, 2014
Andy Farrell's son being in the team will be no issue says Stuart Lancaster © Getty Images
Despite Owen Farrell and George Ford's fathers being high profile coaches, Stuart Lancaster insists he will not be swayed by parental influences when picking England's fly-half.
Pushy parent syndrome will not be an issue for Lancaster despite Mike Ford being the head coach at Bath and Owen's father Andy being a part of the England coaching staff.
Lancaster said those family ties will help, not hinder, England's cause. "Those links have always been there from the outset anyway," Lancaster said. "The ultimate decision-maker on selection is me: I take Andy [Farrell] and Mike Catt's opinions on board, but I make the final call.
"Owen and George won't have any issues with all of that either, they have grown up with it. They are also mates who have come through our age-group system together, played alongside each other before and get along very well.
"They will compete extremely hard with each other, and that's what you would expect. That streak will allow them to drive each other on, as it has previously."
Lancaster dropped Leicester captain Toby Flood to accelerate 20-year-old Ford's international career. Flood will join Toulouse in the summer, spelling the end of his 60-cap international career with England not selecting overseas-based players.
Unfazed by losing his most experienced squad member, Lancaster backed Ford and Gloucester's Freddie Burns to heap the pressure on first-choice playmaker Farrell.
"There are 20 months and 20 games to go to the World Cup in this country," said Lancaster. "I'd be very surprised during the course of those 20 games Owen Farrell plays every minute of every game.
"He's unlikely to avoid injury entirely, and he'll be put under pressure by the other players. It's going to be close, the competition will be fierce."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Daniel Ricciardo knows he and Sebastian Vettel will never be the closest of friends but he insists he does not foresee a breakdown of trust with his new Red Bull team-mate
Bayern Munich midfielder Tony Kroos has put Manchester United on red alert after he admitting the Premier League is "a possibility for me"
George Groves has taunted Carl Froch ahead of their eagerly-anticipated rematch on May 31 by claiming the WBA and IBF super-middleweight champion has "nothing to go on" from the first fight
England's Joe Marler admitted their 29-18 win over Wales helped bury the ghosts of last year's hammering in Cardiff
Luke Shaw has revealed the support Ashley Cole gave him ahead of his England debut despite the pair now competing with each other for a place at the World Cup this summer
Have any of the Home Unions ever recorded back-to-back wins against the All Blacks?
"The only thing that will stop this England team from becoming a great team is themselves. They need to ask themselves 'what can we be?'" The Phil Vickery column
Why are there five majors in women's golf?
Maurice Hamilton looks at how the biggest F1 shakeup in a decade is failing to make waves in the UK papers just a week before the season opener in Australia.
The latest Monday Maul looks at the hectic final weekend, the Lions hangover, the superb Mike Brown and the 'selfie'
Tom Cleverley's difficult week is poised to end positively as Manchester United are set to offer the midfielder a new £15 million deal, according to the Mail on Sunday
Canelo Alvarez turned things around on Saturday against the perfect opponent in Alfredo Angulo, stopping his Mexican compatriot in the 10th round of a brutally one-sided fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena
Amir Khan won't be taking up Floyd Mayweather's challenge to fight Adrien Broner, his trainer Virgil Hunter has confirmed
Samuel Eto'o made light of the controversy about his age while tormenting a blundering Tottenham defence with a devastating spell in a 4-0 victory for Chelsea in the Premier League
Inter Milan are lining up a summer move for Chelsea misfit Fernando Torres, according to reports
In the latest edition of our favourite quotes from the sporting week, all things come to Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi is given support, and Floyd Mayweather will go to places he has never been before
Only Chelsea and Liverpool can win the Premier League this season, despite Jose Mourinho's claims
Some of the best fighters to ever glove up have plied their trade in the Octagon - now ESPN list the 10 best who have fought under the UFC banner
With just two rounds left in the 2014 championship, the intensity cranks up a notch at Twickenham. Tom Hamilton previews the weekend's action
Pat McCabe has been used as a battering ram; he has been forced to undergo the most selfless of tasks; his footballing career has repeatedly been assumed to be over; but he just keeps producing