Lancaster's delight at Farrell return

July 09, 2012
Rugby Union - International Rugby - Bet Now at Bet365

England head coach Stuart Lancaster admits Andy Farrell has been 'missed' from the national team set-up.

Farrell - a trusty lieutenant to Lancaster during the Six Nations - was absent from England's back room staff during the recent three Test series in South Africa after he decided to stick with Saracens.

But the former Wigan RL star has subsequently had a change of mind and starts his second spell as an assistant coach with England, who are 3.75 to win the Six Nations next year, today. Wales are 2.87 to triumph while Scotland can be backed at 15.00.

"I'm looking forward to having him back because his presence and personality was missed," Lancaster said.

"Andy felt he wanted to be part of the set-up again and is very excited about coming back.

"You may only get the chance to coach a team at a World Cup once in your career, and having had a taste of international rugby Andy obviously wanted to experience some more.

"I'm really grateful to Saracens for their understanding in what was a difficult time for everybody."

Meanwhile, Lancaster has said that George Ford's first focus must be on getting regular game time with Leicester after including the young fly-half in his Elite Player Squad.

"George is a fantastic talent," he said. "He is in the right environment at Leicester where they will bring him in and give him his opportunity.

"The first step for him is to get selected by Leicester, because he has got some pretty competitive players in his position with Dan Bowden having been signed (from London Irish) and Toby Flood there. So he has got some work to do to get in the side.

"He's still young - and we've got to remember that - but he is a good talent and hopefully the next step this season will be a big one for him."


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