Rugby

Lancaster: SA tour showed progress

England head coach Stuart Lancaster believes his team have made good progress on their South Africa tour but he remains far from satisfied.

 
Lancaster sees progress - RugbyAFP
 

Lancaster is motivated by a desire to win every game and, despite battling performances in all three Tests against the Springboks, his side fell short of that objective. But with the series lost after defeats in Durban and Johannesburg, they ended on a positive note by claiming a creditable 14-14 draw in the final Test at Port Elizabeth's Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

Lancaster, in his first assignment since being appointed full-time, feels he has learned much but is already plotting the way forward with a new elite performance squad to be named early next month. He said: "It has been a fantastic opportunity to take a wider group of players and work with them."

He added: "That has been the real benefit of the tour, getting a real understanding of the strengths and areas we need to look at to go forward.

"We should be getting to a point as a team where we are competitive and winning every game has got to be the mindset.

"We have now got a team of young players and experienced players coming through together in an environment they enjoy and the culture is strong. I think it augurs well for the future.

"But we didn't win the first two Tests and we drew the third - that ultimately means disappointment from my point of view.

"But there are a lot of positives we can take.

"In the last Test we could have used every excuse not to put in a performance but we didn't.

"We rolled our sleeves up and fought to the end. We possibly could have edged it at the end."

 - PA Sport
 
 
 
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