‘Same old names’: Vickery saddened by list of England replacements for Lancaster

Phil Vickery has expressed his disappointment at seeing Stuart Lancaster leave his role as England head coach – especially when the World Cup winner looks at the list of potential replacements.

England became the first host nation in World Cup history to fail to advance from the pool stages last month.

This saw Lancaster, who had been in charge since 2011, resign from his post, taking full “responsibility for the team’s performance during the tournament.”

After being handed the job as head coach on an interim basis in 2011, Lancaster beat out the likes of Nick Mallett and Wayne Smith to be handed the role full time the following year.

And with both Mallett and Smith, along with Eddie Jones, in the front three runners this time around too, former England and British & Irish Lions prop Vickery is warning the RFU against making a hasty decision.

“I am sad to see Stuart go,” said Vickery, speaking at Wooden Spoon’s Rugby Ball. “He’s a great guy and what he’s done has been tremendous.

“Unfortunately the team hasn’t performed as well as he would have liked, and they were young and perhaps inexperienced.

“Sadly it’s also about winning games of rugby and he openly admits he hasn’t won quite as many games as he would have liked to have done.

“He’s always said that he would take responsibility and the buck stops with him and that’s the honour of the man really. I just hope he gets a bit of recognition as well because he’s a decent guy.

“We can all say hypothetically who and what but without knowing the ins and outs of the review and what the job role is it is hard to predict the new man in charge.

“I’m not being disrespectful but it’s the same old names. It’s like football isn’t it, Eddie Jones has been sticking his hand up for jobs ever since I can remember and he’s brilliant at it.

“It will be governed by what it is that they want and then once they decide what that job role is they can look to find that replacement. It’s a fantastic opportunity for somebody.

“My concern is we’ve been here before and we’ve done it all before, and the same issues and problems keep on coming up, so is it a little bit more than just a coach. I think some of the players need to take some responsibility as well.”

But whoever is handed the job, Vickery knows they have a fight on their hands to help England go on and break the southern hemisphere monopoly with no team from the other side of the equator reaching a World Cup semi-final this time around.

“I love the RBS 6 Nations, it’s a beautiful competition. But if we’re all honest some of the rugby in it is not very good,” he added.

“If you watch what we saw in the World Cup, trying to compete with those best teams, what we see consistently domestically too often is not good enough.

“It’s not just about coaches, it’s about attitudes and ethos and what you’re going to do for your team.”

Wooden Spoon is the children’s charity of rugby. Please get involved and together we can change children’s lives through the power of rugby.

Image courtesy of Sharp’s Brewery via YouTube, with thanks.

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