herald

Thursday 8 December 2016

Stuart Lancaster admits his job is at stake if England bow out of World Cup early

Stuart Lancaster
Stuart Lancaster

STUART LANCASTER has accepted his entire England tenure could rest on Saturday’s decisive World Cup clash with Australia.

Head coach Lancaster has restored fit-again Jonathan Joseph to the centres at the expense of Sam Burgess, who drops to the bench, for the pivotal Pool A contest at Twickenham.

Lancaster (right) conceded England must win to avoid the earliest exit of any World Cup hosts in history, before shouldering extra pressure on his own future.

When asked if his entire time with England hangs on this week after the 28-25 defeat to Wales, Lancaster said: “I think that’s fair to say.

“It’s a must-win game because if we lose we don’t get out of the group. So there’s no point hiding where the accountability lies.

“As a head coach you don’t take the players beyond Saturday, you take them to Saturday. You put them in the right place to play a strong game on Saturday.

“There’s no denying it, the stakes are huge for us, but the boys will be ready.

“I’m not going beyond this game, there is a lot to play out.-

“It was a blow to lose Jonathan Joseph last week, he’s hard to replace. To have him back in the team is a positive.”

Joseph has recovered from the pectoral muscle problem to resume his midfield partnership with Brad Barritt.

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