Lancaster to lean on Hodgson

England rugby union coach Stuart Lancaster is looking forward to picking the brains of football counterpart Roy Hodgson in a bid to gain an insight into how to cope with the burden of expectation.


England are due to host the 2015 World Cup and Lancaster is keen to see what lessons he can learn from Hodgson, who oversaw a 2-0 win against Poland at Wembley on Tuesday that guaranteed a place for the England football team at next year’s soccer World Cup in Brazil.

Now Lancaster hopes to meet up with Hodgson during the course of November when the England rugby union team face Australia, Argentina and world champions New Zealand on successive weekends at Twickenham.

“Hopefully Roy will come into camp and we’ll have a chance to chat,” Lancaster said Wednesday after naming his squad for next month’s Tests.

“I’ve spoken to him a couple of times in the past. We’ll certainly invite him to our games and hopefully he can enjoy them without worrying about the result.

“Credit to the footballers for dealing with the expectation and pressure.

“I thought the way they coped with it, the way Roy coped with it, was magnificent really. I think the fact the country were behind them, it shows how a crowd can also inspire a team.

“I’m delighted for Roy and his coaching team. Hopefully they can plan now and really look forward to 2014.”

Lancaster added: “One of the challenges we’ll face is the expectation and pressure of being the home team at a World Cup.

“New Zealand faced that in 2011 and I thought they had that maturity and experience to deal with that pressure and still deliver on the stage.

“Our challenge is to be that experienced and to be ready for that.”

Meanwhile Hodgson, speaking at a separate press conference Wednesday, said that for all his 38 years as a manager he too was keen to learn from other sports, notably rugby union and cricket, where overseas tours are routine events in contrast to football where prolonged periods abroad only come about during major championships such as a World Cup.

“I think you learn from other sports. I’ve had some dealings with Stuart Lancaster, I’ve had some dealings with Clive Woodward (England’s 2003 World Cup-winning coach), from rugby union.

“I met Andy Flower (the England cricket who next week will take the team to Australia as they seek a fourth successive Ashes win over their arch-rivals) and we agreed that when his busy time in the summer with the Ashes is over and my time trying to qualify the team is over, we’d get together over a coffee and swap some stories.

“I’m very interested to hear how they approach things.”

Hodgson, once in charge of the Swiss national side, was also keen to catch up with British and Irish Lions rugby union coach Warren Gatland, who this year led the combined side to a 2-1 series win in Australia.

“It’ll be interesting to talk to the Lions people as well, because they have long periods away from home when they tour because they go to the southern hemisphere.

“I’m all ears, really. Any information we can get which will improve our knowledge, the better it is.

“But on the other hand, I do think with the FA (England’s governing Football Association), we sit on a large, large body of knowledge as well, a lot of experience.

“It would have been better for me if I’d met those guys before going to America with Switzerland probably (for the 1994 World Cup)!”

Comments are closed.