England's Stuart Lancaster and Graham Rowntree in profile

By Arindam RejBBC Sport
Stuart Lancaster
Lancaster has been coaching England Saxons for three years

In a climate of chaos, Stuart Lancaster and Graham Rowntree have been handed the unenviable task of re-uniting an England set-up beset by controversy and pulled apart by in-fighting.

Trouble on and off the field led to , while leaks to the public have exposed divisive issues within a group who have been castigated for their tame World Cup quarter-final exit.

Both Lancaster and Rowntree, who take charge on an interim basis until the end of the Six Nations, are already close to the camp - but, unlike so many colleagues, they have emerged from the recent troubles with their reputations enhanced rather than tainted.

Lancaster is the coach of the national side's second string, England Saxons, while Rowntree's role has been as the senior side's scrummaging coach.

Lancaster, who coached an England XV against Barbarians in June, was appointed the Rugby Football Union's head of elite player development in 2008 and has been in charge of the Saxons during the same period.

His close contact with - and understanding of - the young talents in the English game makes him well suited to guiding the country's up-and-coming players during this difficult period.

The former PE teacher has a reputation for being popular with players and operating reliably without fuss.

Former flanker Lancaster captained Leeds, retiring in 2000, then took charge of the Tykes' academy for five years - developing future England players such as Danny Care - before becoming the club's director of rugby.

He ended a 16-year association with the Yorkshire club when he took up his England role three years ago.

Rowntree was appointed scrummaging coach by Johnson in August 2008 then handed the same role with the Lions for the 2009 tour to South Africa.

In the leaked reviews, which were highly damaging for most other England coaches, Rowntree emerged with much credit. He was seen as a man who both players and management could confide in, and appears more at ease in front of the media than Johnson did.

Former Leicester prop Rowntree spent his entire playing career with the Tigers, from 1990 to 2007, winning 54 England caps and securing two Grand Slams as a player. He featured twice for the Lions in 2005 against New Zealand.

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