Lancaster looking for new leaders

Date published: May 24 2013


England head coach Stuart Lancaster has called for members of his squad to lead the side with senior players absent this weekend.

England head coach Stuart Lancaster has called for members of his squad to lead the side with senior players absent this weekend.

A youthful England outfit will take on the Barbarians at Twickenham on Sunday before embarking on their tour of South America.

Bath hooker Rob Webber is set to the lead the side on Sunday, with Tom Wood playing for Northampton Saints the previous day in the Aviva Premiership Final and regular captain Chris Robshaw rested.

Stars of the future including Christian Wade, Matt Kvesic, Marland Yarde and Joe Launchbury will all start for England against the Barbarians, but Lancaster has called on the likes of Alex Corbisiero, Ben Morgan, Mike Brown and Tom Johnson for leadership.

“Taking on a very experienced Barbarians team is the first challenge they face this summer with matches in Uruguay and Argentina to follow and this sequence of games is a key part of our development as a team,” said Lancaster.

“With these four matches we want to develop more leaders. Given that we have some players away with the Lions and others being rested, some new players are going to have to step up and enjoy it.

“The message has been that you've got a fantastic opportunity, go out and showcase your talents against good players.”

The addition of Wade and Yarde alongside Jonathan Joseph in midfield provides England with plenty of pace across their back division for this weekend, having struggled for tries during the latter stages of the Six Nations.

“We've always wanted to score tries, but sometimes the weather, like in Ireland, prevented us from doing so,” added Lancaster.

“We have always given our teams the license to play running rugby but you have to understand that to win big games you can't run the ball from all areas of the field.

“You have to kick at some point but it is about doing that in the right place at the right time. Certainly we want to play.

“We've got an opportunity now to use a few players who were injured during the Six Nations. Ben Morgan and Jonathan Joseph were injured around the time, Tom Johnson has also been injured, so we have got lads now who were out of the equation coming back into it.

“There are one or two who don't have that much international experience and who can press their case like Marland Yarde and Christian Wade, Jonny May and Kyle Eastmond, and Freddie Burns with Billy Twelvetrees at 10 and 12 given their Gloucester connection should allow our team to play.”

by Ben Coles