Lancaster: ‘Tough balancing youth and titles’

Date published: October 12 2015

Stuart Lancaster admitted that balancing the development of younger players and winning titles had been tricky after England's exit.

England were knocked out of the Rugby World Cup after losses to Wales and Australia, having come into the tournament with the youngest squad on average out of the 20 teams.

"I understand the consequences of winning championships and the World Cup is the most important marker. The pressure of trying to achieve success is never-ending and a lot of our top talent is in our youngest players," Lancaster said.

"At some point you have to put them in but you have to win at the same time. Having to win and bring in young talent can be a difficult thing.

"I don’t think anyone would have predicted Nick Easter scoring a hat trick at the age of 37 in 2015.

"At the time (of the 2011 World Cup), we thought that if Nick or whoever weren’t going to make the 2015 team, surely we have to invest the time and experience into the likes of Ben Morgan and Billy Vunipola."

The RFU are set to launch their review of England's dismal exit this week as Lancaster waits to hear if he will lose his job.

He added that the results of the players' interviews would be interesting, highlighting how he had tried to build good relationships with each member of his squad.

"It will be interesting to see what the players do say and that’s why I think the review is important. What they say to me individually is positive," he said.

"I’ve got a good relationship with them and we’ve all worked hard on that.

"I want them to give their view and that’s why I encourage the review to take place because it is an important part of the process."

England have now left their base in Manchester following Saturday's 60-3 win over Uruguay with the players returning to their clubs.

Lancaster revealed last week that he didn't plan to watch the rest of the tournament and would return home to Cumbria, but conceded that he would soon be again reviewing the tape of England's losses.

Lancaster added: "Personally, I think I would find it hard to do nothing for too long because I want to get on with stuff.

"I’ll be watching the games again and analysing all the things we did in the lead-up to the World Cup. I want to ask myself the questions about our performance and what could we have done better."