- Stuart Lancaster
So, the RFU in their infinite wisdom have appointed a stop gap. A filler. A caretaker coach with no experience of international Test match rugby. It’s short term, reactionary guff from the people employed to manage the long term, strategic plans of English rugby.
But caretakers can be good. Mr Griffiths was a legend at Grange Hill. Strict – he took no nonesense but was caring (remember Harriet the donkey?), loyal and committed (remember how upset he was when the Inspectors’ visit discovered he was over pensionable age and Mrs McClusky was forced to pension hm off?). Perhaps Mr Lancaster could prove to be just as good if not better?
Is he able to nab Tuilagi smoking round the back of the science lab? Precipitate the expulsion of Tindall in the act of drinking Thunderbird round the bike sheds and picking on the little kids? Will he report Ashton to his parents for pulling hair? Is he able to put an arm around
Ro-land Little Jonny when he’s beating himself up inside?
Certainly the interviews I’ve seen and read seem to suggest that this may be just what the team need. A bit of a clear out of old clutter, a good sweep through and dust down but making sure the valuable older stuff is looked after properly. Excellent caretaker stuff.
He may not have international experience but imagine if the 6Nations goes well…imagine he is able to get the team playing as a cohesive unit as opposed to a disparate group of individuals as they did at times during the World Cup. Imagine there’s no heaven, it’s easy if you try. What if he is able to get the team playing a recognisable and successful game plan? Just imagine he had a vision of what he wanted to achieve, rather than the game by game approach MJ seemed to prefer and he worked out a plan to achieve it over time? If the RFU could see this they could keep him on and by 2015 he’d have his vision realised a loyal, experienced group of players plus four years of international test match rugby experience. Imagine that.
In my heart I want this to happen. I want the team to be cleared out in the same way the coaching staff have. I want Stuart Lancaster to have brave and bold ideas that he is able to put into practice and that will re-invigorate the players who will realise their potential and create a team of perfectly balanced power and speed and guile…
But my head says even if he demonstrates all these qualities and attributes the RFU will not look beyond the immediate and they will look to appoint an established international coach regardless. His time in charge will be short but I hope they keep him on in the set up somewhere…even if it is just a Mr Griffiths to Nick Mallet’s Mr Bronson.