- RFUtv visits the RBS 6 Nations launch with Lancaster and Robshaw
- "This is the biggest media event I’ve been to" – England Head Coach
Twelve coaches and captains from the participating nations, 150 written, broadcast, online and radio journalists and five hours of interviews and photography – the annual RBS 6 Nations launch is the biggest European rugby media event.
But for England Head Coach Stuart Lancaster, speaking to RFUtv backstage at the Hurlingham Club, the morning in Fulham is only proportionate to the history and scale of the tournament.
The Championship has been running in some format – initially known as the Home Nations – since 1883 and Lancaster said: “This is the biggest media event I’ve been to.
“I first came two years ago when I got the interim job and it was an eye opener for me. You drift along going to a few press conferences and then you come to this, which is on another level.
Photo: Getty Images
“It’s a big event but also when people start talking about the games you realise the size of the occasions and the importance of winning.”
After successive second-place finishes and four wins from five games, Lancaster leads England in a third RBS 6 Nations with ambitions to win every game and thus secure a first Grand Slam for 11 years.
Two years ago England won three away games for the first time in history and this year they start with the difficult trip to face France in Paris on February 1. Lancaster says that pivotal game, meeting Wales for the first time since the 30-3 defeat in Cardiff and his lengthy injury list were the main topics of discussion with the assembled media.
RFU Chairman Bill Beaumont, who led England to an unexpected Grand Slam in 1980, was in attendance in his role as Chairman of the Six Nations Council. The seven-time British and Irish Lion said the amicable relationships between the rival captains so close to doing battle on the pitch was an example of the remarkable nature of rugby as a sport.
Photo: Getty Images
England’s captain for the third tournament in row, Chris Robshaw, said the players get on well but he was more concerned with rushing back to the Pennyhill Park training base for a punishing defence session with Andy Farrell.
Brushing off the emotional strain of such a long media session as “part of the job as captain”, he said: “You do have little things to do like this but you quickly have to be able to put this out of your mind and get straight into things.
“I’ve got to catch up with the other guys and see how this morning’s session went as well. I’m heading back now and straight back into it, get some kit and out we go.”