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Lancaster eyes long-term England job
ESPN Staff
January 25, 2014
Lancaster believes England will benefit from longevity in the coaching set up © PA Photos

Stuart Lancaster admits he is targeting a long-term stay at the England helm - but insists the 2015 Rugby World Cup is still his priority.

Lancaster has been England boss since replacing Martin Johnson in 2011 and has guided the team to two consecutive second-place finishes in the Six Nations. However next year's flagship event will undoubtedly determine Lancaster's future in the job - though he feels longevity and stability can only benefit England in the long run.

England go into the Six Nations looking to make it third time lucky under Lancaster, but one eye is already on next year's World Cup on home soil. It was Clive Woodward who once said 'judge me on the World Cup' and Lancaster is under no illusions a repeat of 2011's underwhelming failure could end his time in the job.

But since Woodward departed in the wake of World Cup success in 2003, only the captain from that campaign, Martin Johnson, has lasted more than three years in charge of the national team. And that is why Lancaster believes a lot can be gained from having a settled manager at the helm.

"I understand my role will quite rightly be assessed on how we do in 2015, and that's where the priority is," Lancaster told the Daily Express.

"But equally I have always wanted to try to build long-term high-performing teams and clearly a big motivation for me would be try to continue in the role.

"It takes a long time to get to grips with it and when I look at the successful teams they are the ones who have had stability and continuity. But I also understand we have to achieve success in the short term."

New Zealand benefited from resisting calls to part company with Graham Henry after failure at the 2007 World Cup and the decision paid dividends as he led them to glory on home soil four years later. But Lancaster is also looking away from the sport of rugby for proof of the benefits of continuity.

"If you asked any international coaches, they would want to be in the job as long as they can be. It's a brilliant job," he said.

"When I look at other sports, it's the Wenger's and the Fergusons, Phil Jackson on basketball, Bill Walsh in American football, who have created long-term success.

"It gives the organisation a better chance to be successful if there's stability. But I also understand that you have to keep winning to achieve that."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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