Six Nations: Ben Foden wants England wins for Stuart Lancaster

Richard Hill
Richard Hill

Six Nations - France v England

Venue:
Stade de France
Date:
Sunday 11 March
Kick-off:
1500 GMT
Coverage:
Live on BBC One, BBC HD, Red Button and online from 1445 GMT; listen on BBC Radio 5 live; live text commentary on the BBC Sport website and mobiles. Watch again on BBC iPlayer.

Ben Foden has challenged England to win their final two Six Nations games to help boost Stuart Lancaster's chances of being appointed as permanent coach.

Full-back Foden believes beating France in Paris on Sunday, followed by another win against Ireland, could clinch the role for interim boss Lancaster.

He admits Lancaster, expected to be interviewed by the RFU later this month, has the backing of the players.

"Everyone can see he's done a wonderful job since taking over," said Foden.

"What he has done has been brilliant so far. We could cement it for him if we did get two wins."

Former England Saxons coach Lancaster replaced Martin Johnson after his resignation last November and has overhauled the senior squad in the wake of a dismal World Cup campaign.

Lancaster's new-look side registered wins against Scotland and Italy in their opening Six Nations matches, before a plucky performance in a narrow 19-12 defeat by heavy favourites Wales.

And it appears the current crop of England players, who wrap up their title defence against Ireland at Twickenham on 17 March, want him to continue.

"He has created a great culture and great atmosphere in the squad," said Northampton's Foden.

"We've got an exciting team and everything seems to be going in the right direction.

"If we can cement these results for him then it proves even further he is doing the right thing."

Lancaster is the only candidate to confirm he has applied for the full-time role, although Nick Mallett, Eddie O'Sullivan and John Kirwan have all been linked.

South African World Cup-winning coach Jake White has ruled himself out of the running.

Lancaster insists he is the right man to lead a youthful England side forward as the RFU look to appoint their new man before the end of the Six Nations.

"I would not have taken on this interim role if I did not have belief in my own ability to do the job," he said.

"You wave that versus experience and at some point you have to dip your toe in the water to get some experience and that's what I am getting.

"The experience of those three years as a Saxons coach, building teams, has definitely helped me over the last six weeks with England."

Team line-ups

England: Ben Foden; Chris Ashton, Manu Tuilagi, Brad Barritt, David Strettle; Owen Farrell, Lee Dickson; Alex Corbisiero, Dylan Hartley, Dan Cole; Mouritz Botha, Geoff Parling; Tom Croft, Chris Robshaw (captain), Ben Morgan.

Replacements: Rob Webber, Matt Stevens, Tom Palmer, Phil Dowson, Ben Youngs, Charlie Hodgson, Mike Brown.

France: Clement Poitrenaud; Vincent Clerc, Aurelien Rougerie, Wesley Fofana, Julien Malzieu; Lionel Beauxis, Julien Dupuy; Jean-Baptiste Poux, Dimitri Szarzewski, Nicolas Mas, Pascal Pape, Yoann Maestri, Thierry Dusautoir (captain), Julien Bonnaire, Imanol Harinordoquy.

Replacements: William Servat, Vincent Debaty, Lionel Nallet, Louis Picamoles, Francois Trinh-Duc, Morgan Parra, Maxime Mermoz.

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