Mike Tindall backs Stuart Lancaster to coach England again despite World Cup misery

Mike Tindall believes Stuart Lancaster can turn his World Cup hurt on its head and one day coach England again.

Stuart Lancaster.
Stuart Lancaster.

World Cup-winner Tindall has tipped Lancaster and his former assistants Andy Farrell, Mike Catt and Graham Rowntree to rebuild their careers and reputations strongly enough to be considered for a potential England return in future.

Former Leeds Carnegie coach Lancaster has been linked with the head coaching role at Bath vacated by Mike Ford’s sacking, with the likes of Connacht’s Pat Lam and ex-South Africa boss Heyneke Meyer also in the frame.

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Lancaster and his coaches lost their jobs after England became the worst-performing host nation in World Cup history with their group-stage exit in the autumn – but Tindall has backed all four men to turn their careers around quickly.

“There should never be any barrier to any of the World Cup coaches being involved with England again,” Tindall said.

“If Stuart Lancaster learns from the World Cup and becomes a world-class coach there should be no reason why he cannot coach England again.

“And it’s the same with Mike Catt going to Italy, Andy Farrell with Ireland and Graham Rowntree at Harlequins. There’s no reason why any of them shouldn’t be involved again in the future.

“You just hope they stay in the game and don’t feel scorned or as though they wouldn’t want to go back to the RFU, because at the end of the day England need the best coaches we can possibly get.”

The nation’s first foreign coach Eddie Jones will lead England until World Cup 2019, with the Rugby Football Union (RFU) aiming to develop a number of potential homegrown successors in the interim.

Tindall believes Exeter’s Rob Baxter has all the tools required of a future England boss, but he also challenged the RFU to create a conveyor belt of coaching talent during Jones’ tenure.

“I think Rob Baxter will be a brilliant England coach somewhere down the line,” said Tindall.

“But it’s how does he get that experience internationally? Someone’s going to have to take that plunge with him at some point.

“But you look at what he’s done in his tenure at Exeter and it’s been incredible, so there are good coaches out there, with the likes of Paul Gustard and Steve Borthwick already working with England now.

“Hopefully they are learning loads from Eddie Jones in terms of the way he’s doing things.

“And hopefully we’ll be set up for an English coach to take over when Eddie’s contract’s finished.

“Ultimately what you want to try and achieve is a situation where there’s a bit of a conveyor belt of English coaches rising through the set-up to the top.

“We’ve just got to find a system that works where we can keep breeding high-quality coaches. And that’s down to the RFU to be around not just the very successful clubs, but also the others too, to see how the coaches are progressing there too.”

Former Bath and Gloucester centre Tindall is gearing up for his fourth annual charity golf day, this year at The Belfry in Warwickshire tomorrow.

Rugby For Heroes and the Matt Hampson Foundation are this year’s chosen charities, with famous names like AP McCoy taking part.

Sponsors ISPS Handa have long since championed the addition of blind golf to the Paralympic roster, with Tindall lending his support to that cause.

“A lot of those blind or disabled golfers are ex-servicemen and women,” said Tindall.

“I’ve had people try to teach me to what it’s like in the past, I’ve hit golf shots blindfolded with someone helping to line up the shot.

“It’s a complete overload of the senses.

“For some of the players to become as good as they are, it’s just an incredible testament to their willpower and fight, to stick with it.”