England head coach Stuart Lancaster looking for evolution not revolution
England head coach Stuart Lancaster is looking for evolution not revolution ahead of Saturday's Test against Fiji.
Last Updated: 09/11/12 10:43am
Lancaster has selected an inexperienced side for Saturday's Test against Fiji at Twickenham, the first of four autumn internationals.
But he remains determined to emulate New Zealand and end the need for England coaches to constantly rebuild the team at the start of every new World Cup cycle.
"When I took over in December we needed to bring through a new generation of players because we had a significant number of the World Cup squad who were post-30," Lancaster said.
"Someone said the All Blacks don't go through that period of renewal, it is a gradual drip-feed of new players - and that is where we should be from now on.
"I don't see England in the next eight to 12 years going through the sort of change we have had to go through.
"The Fiji game is the start of a huge four-week journey for us that will test us in every way. It is about putting a marker down at the start of this four-game series.
"The inexperience is not a concern or a risk because we delivered good performances in the Six Nations and that experience will grow with every game.
"By the time 2015 comes around they will hopefully have 30-odd caps under their belt and we end with a team that is peaking with the age between 25 and 30."
Twickenham will be an 82,000 sell-out for the Fiji game, the best crowd England have ever attracted for a Test against a tier two nation.
"People quite rightly expect us to go out and win every game. That is right with the way we have developed as a team," Lancaster said.
"We have to manage the expectancy but also deal with it. The All Blacks have an expectation to win every time and they continue to do so.
"We are not there yet but it will be a good test in the next four weeks to see if we are."
But Lancaster warned that Fiji will be no pushovers.
"It would be great to get off to a good start but you only have to look at their two centres (Leicester's Vereniki Goneva and Exeter's Sireli Naqelevuki), they are two of the most dangerous players we have in the Premiership at the moment," he said.
"Put those together in the centre, we will have our hands full if we play loosely and give them the freedom of Twickenham.
"But we definitely want to get off to a good start because we know what is coming around the corner."