The news that England stalwarts Nick Easter and Mark Cueto will not feature in their sides Six Nations shows that Stuart Lancaster is looking to the future and looking to build a side that can go well beyond his tenure as Interim coach.
At 32 and 33 respectively, Cueto and Easter may well not be around at the highest level at England 2015, but that has not stopped them dreaming of further England caps.
Both Easter and Cueto believe they still have a lot to offer the England team and have vowed to prove Lancaster wrong, and force him to give them a call up to the elite squad in the future. England are currently second favourites on the 6 Nations betting online, behind World Cup Finalists france.
Often, when a new coach comes in and states he will be looking to the future older players take the chance for a noble standing down from the international stage but not these two. Both told Lancaster they would always be available for England if the call came.
With Lancaster’s decision to pick a young fresh side, excluding Cueto and Easter it would appear their careers are on hold whilst he is in charge. But the chances are he won’t be in charge for long.
His brief was to get England through the Six Nations and start to build towards the future. He is giving the youngsters a taste of the big time and whoever is given the England job full time will no doubt use what is learnt from the Six Nations for future selections though.
Who is to say that Mallett, Smith or whoever takes the role full time will not be open to the idea of a return for Easter or Cueto. The experience these two can offer will no doubt appeal and both also offer potential as possible captains of the side.
The exclusion of these two legends of English rugby from the Six Nations cannot be seen as the end of the road for them then. Lancaster has gone for a youthful squad, but so long as they continue to impress for Harlequins and Sale this season there is nothing to suggest they may not be back in the England squad in the summer, next Autumn or at any point in the future.
Nick Easter, a star rugby player for England faced quite a bit of controversy recently after the loss of England to France.
He was quite astonished and surprised by the fact that his comment saying that 35 thousand pounds has gone down the drain had got such negative reviews from the other England team mates.
He does admit to have said it in an unintentional way, and even if he did so it was all done in a very general approach without any specific thought in mind. However, he fails to understand why this comment has been misinterpreted and taken out of bounds and context by the other team mates and players.
Nick Easter goes on to say that this comment was made in the dressing room where the atmosphere was quite stressed out and desperate. He probably made the statement with an intention to lighten the spirits and moods of the other players and help them move on with the loss. However, the fact that people have taken this in a complete different way is unbelievable and Nock frankly has nothing to say about it.
Nick Easter wants to be very clear on the fact that he wants to bring about a change to the thought about this comment and wants people to clear up any issues regarding this comment once and for all so that there are no further misconceptions created by the players.
Nick adds on by saying that money may be a bonus to playing rugby but all the England rugby players play for the fun of it as they enjoy it and are not in just for the money. Moreover, a defeat needs to be coped up with in a mature way and preparations need to be made to rectify mistakes made.
Nick Easter is many pundits tip for the England captaincy in the upcoming Six Nations tournament and he has made it clear that he wants the job. Having been third choice captain during the World Cup, behind Moody and Tindall, Easter has set his sights on leading this new look England outfit in their first venture.
He realises the emphasis will be on youth, but hopes Stuart Lancaster will appreciate the need for experienced heads amongst the new blood if the transformation is to be successful. Easter describes himself as being “fitter and faster than I’ve ever been” and clearly feels he can still offer a lot as a player as well as as an experienced leader.
Easter has previously backed his club captain, Chris Robshawe to take the captaincy under the permanent manager, and his recent comments seem to fit with that. He believed that if he were to be appointed captain, as he would dearly love to be, it would be in a solely as an interim appointment.
It seems almost nailed on that Easter will wear the number 8 jersey against Scotland on February 4th and if he is selected, there is no reason why Lancaster won’t select him as captain for his own interim period in charge. The Rugby Union Betting markets favour Easter as captain, with odds as low as 1/8 in some exchanges.
The new look England team begins its transformation in the Betfair Six Nations 2012, but with Lancaster acting himself as an interim post there is nothing to suggest Easter will not have his wish of the interim captaincy before making way to the likes of Robshawe in the long term.
This would provide the inexperienced players such as the Quins skipper to gain international experience and for the coaches to see how they cope in an England jersey before deciding which one will captain the side. But while the likes of Easter are around, he must be a real candidate to lead his country.