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England coach Lancaster signs new deal to 2020

October 1, 2014

LONDON (AP) — Coach Stuart Lancaster and his staff will lead England into 2020 after signing six-year contract extensions on Wednesday.

Assistant coaches Graham Rowntree, Andy Farrell and Mike Catt will also continue to backup Lancaster past the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

After England’s embarrassing 2011 Rugby World Cup campaign in New Zealand forced coach Martin Johnson to resign, Lancaster, coach of the Saxons, was considered only a temporary replacement. But when he changed England’s culture to being more respectful and responsible, and guided the team to runner-up in the 2012 Six Nations, he was given the job permanently.

“We are lucky to have a talented, committed and passionate coaching group,” England Rugby Football Union chief executive Ian Ritchie said in a statement.

“Coaching at international level is unique, in that the time Stuart and the coaches have with the players is limited, and in that regard it requires a special and stable coaching group. We therefore felt it important to secure their long-term future.”

Under Lancaster, England has won 18 tests, drawn one, and lost 11. Its best win was 38-21 against New Zealand at Twickenham in December 2012, still the All Blacks’ only loss since the 2011 World Cup. England has also been runner-up in the last three Six Nations, the last two on points difference. In less than a year, England will host the 2015 World Cup.

“It’s great that the RFU has got faith in us,” Lancaster said. “We want to build a team for England Rugby that leads into Japan in 2019 and beyond. We believe that England Rugby is moving in the right direction.”

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