Stuart Lancaster is England players' choice - Phil Dowson

Back-row forward Phil Dowson says all the England players want Stuart Lancaster to be appointed head coach on a permanent basis.

England won four of their five games in the Six Nations under interim coach Lancaster.

"If you asked the whole squad, to a man they'd say they've got faith in the coaches," Dowson told BBC Look East.

"The proof is in the results. I think all the players would be disappointed if it wasn't Stuart Lancaster."

Lancaster, 42, has been interviewed for the role by the Rugby Football Union (RFU), along with former South Africa coach Nick Mallett.

And Northampton Saints number eight Dowson, who was handed his first international cap by Lancaster in the Six Nations opener against Scotland, has spoken of the positive influence the former Leeds coach has had on the England camp.

"We spoke to him at the end [of the Six Nations] and I think he was absolutely exhausted because he left no stone unturned in terms of creating an environment and an atmosphere that was akin to a club," said 30-year-old Dowson.

"In England you have a very short amount of time in which to create that.

"There are a lot of psychological things he did - meetings during training, before games and after games - and I think the players responded to that and I think the results were borne out of that."

One problem for England, however, should Lancaster be given the job, could be securing the release of Andy Farrell, who was one of his assistants during the Six Nations campaign.

Farrell, the father of fly-half Owen, is first-team coach at Saracens, and they said on Wednesday they had not yet received any approach from the RFU.

Meanwhile, Northampton director of rugby Jim Mallinder claims the eight-week ban handed to Dylan Hartley will not tarnish the England hooker's reputation.

Hartley, who received a 26-week ban for gouging in 2007, was suspended for biting the finger of Stephen Ferris in the Six Nations win over Ireland earlier this month.

"Dylan is a completely different person to the one in 2007," said Mallinder.

"He'll be the first to admit he was slightly loose. What he's done in that time is matured. I wouldn't have made him captain if we didn't see a change in him.

"I'm really disappointed he's picked up an eight-week ban but it doesn't affect how I or the club see Dylan."

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