RFU look to appoint Andy Farrell

Focus switches to Farrell chase as Saracens confirm RFU call is expected

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UPDATED:

09:21 GMT, 30 March 2012

Having appointed Stuart Lancaster as England's new head coach, the Rugby Football Union will now turn their attention to delivering the management team he wants.

And that will almost certainly mean a phone call to Saracens and an attempt to recruit Andy Farrell from the Aviva Premiership champions on a permanent basis.

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Three is the magic number: Lancaster (centre) with Farrell (right) and Rowntree (left)

Three is the magic number: Lancaster (centre) with Farrell (right) and Rowntree (left)

Farrell was seconded to England's
interim management team for the RBS 6 Nations and Lancaster wants to
keep his three-man coaching group in place.

Graham Rowntree is already on the RFU payroll and is sure to continue in his role as forwards coach but prising former rugby league star Farrell away from Saracens may be a trickier proposition, with their chief executive Edward Griffiths insistent that they do not want to lose him.

Griffiths told BBC Radio Five Live: 'The RFU asked if they could loan Andy Farrell for the Six Nations, which we did in the national interest.

'They made it very clear that it was just for the Six Nations. He is contracted to us for another two years and he is a massive part of what we’re planning here as a club, and that’s really the situation.

Back to the day job: Farrell with Saracens head coach Mark McCall

Back to the day job: Farrell with Saracens head coach Mark McCall

'We will doubtless talk to the RFU shortly and hear what they have got to say, but from a Saracens perspective Andy is a big part of our club and a big part of our future.'

No approach had been made by Thursday night as the RFU focused on finalising Lancaster's appointment to lead England into the home Rugby World Cup in 2015 but the phone call appears imminent.

'I was asked the question [in the interview] and my response was centred around looking at what we had done through the Six Nations and how successful that chemistry had been,' Lancaster said.

'We need to go to South Africa and build
on where we are but I wouldn't be averse to bringing another coach in
or someone else to support me.

Successful campaign: England won four of their five Six Nations matches

Successful campaign: England won four of their five Six Nations matches

'We don't need to rush into that decision. The most important thing was getting the same coaching team in place that we had in the Six Nations.

'Clearly there is an order of events for that. If I was going to do it I wanted to do it my way. That is what I argued.'

He added: 'For the RFU the priority was to get everything out of the way for me and then look at what I had put forward as my preferred coaching team.

'There is a right way to do these things and the right thing to do is to have the conversations privately and that is what is going to happen over the course of the next few weeks and we will see how we go.

New Zealand's attack specialist Wayne Smith would be a prime candidate to join the England set-up after the three-Test tour to South Africa.

Potential appointment: Kiwi attack coach Wayne Smith

Potential appointment: Kiwi attack coach Wayne Smith

Smith is keen on a return to Test rugby after helping New Zealand win the 2011 World Cup, he will be available for the start of next season and England need to add an attacking element to their game.

Lancaster indicated he would not push for the recruitment of a team manager to take charge of discipline, a new position proposed in a review into England's failed World Cup campaign.

Martin Johnson struggled to impose discipline during that doomed campaign but Lancaster set the tone from the outset by axing Danny Care from the squad following his arrest for drink driving.

RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie insisted there would be no structural changes that would create a new director of rugby role, thereby appearing to end speculation about a potential return for Sir Clive Woodward.

VIDEO: Stewart Lancaster lays out his vision for the future

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