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Farrell and Rowntree relish new England roles

09 December 2011

  • England coaches Andy Farrell and Graham Rowntree on their new roles
  • Pair excited by three-man group and are "privileged" to be involved
England's new Interim Backs Coach Andy Farrell at his opening press conference

Photo: Getty Images

Excited was the first word used by England coaches Andy Farrell and Graham Rowntree to describe their overriding emotion at the first media session for the new coaching regime at Twickenham.

Under the leadership of Interim Head Coach Stuart Lancaster, decorated former Rugby League star Farrell is seconded from Aviva Premiership Champions Saracens to coach the backs and the defence.

The 36-year-old’s says his elevation to the England set-up is a proud moment and emphasised the close working relationship he has already established working with Lancaster in coaching the free-scoring England Saxons side.

Farrell said: "I’m unbelievably excited and just can’t wait to get started. It’s a great privilege and I’m very proud to be asked.

"It’s a chance for everybody involved with England Rugby to wipe the slate clean and look forward to the future.

"The Saxons last year was the first time Stuart and I have worked together and we clicked straightaway. We’re similar in the fact that we’re very enthusiastic for the way that we want to coach rugby and how positive we want to be with the players.

"We’re all about the environment and if we can create a similar environment that we did with the Saxons, then with the group of players we will have at our disposal throughout the RBS 6 Nations period, I’m sure we’ll go a long way towards doing well."

England Assistant Coach Graham Rowntree

Photo: Getty Images

While Farrell is taking his first steps with the England Senior team, Rowntree is continuing in his position of Assistant Coach but with greater responsibilities in the three-man, integrated coaching set-up.

The 54-cap former prop emerged from England’s difficult world cup campaign with his reputation enhanced and he was clear that it is now time for the international side to move on.

Enthusing about the opportunity to work with a small coaching group he holds in the highest regard, he said: “Excited is the word I would use. It’s an exciting time to be involved with this new coaching set-up and make a new start.

"What’s happened has happened and I want to draw a line in the sand with regards to the world cup.

"It’s great to be involved with a group that involves Faz, who I think is a great coach. I’ve seen how he operates, he’s a mate and I’m a big fan.

"And Stuart, who I’ve known for a few years now and worked closely with – he’s worked very closely with the senior squad and because of his role as RFU Head of Elite Player Development he knows the players through and through. To work with a small group is really exciting and I’m privileged to be here.

"I’ll pretty much be in charge of the forwards, Faz will look after the backs and Stu will coach as well, while remaining as the Head Coach. It’s a smaller group than we had before but I’m sure it’ll be exciting because we’ve got a great crop of players. It’s a new start, the pressure is off, let’s go, I can’t wait."