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Now is our time, Lancaster declares

Date

Mick Cleary

No wholesale changes ... Lancaster.

No wholesale changes ... Lancaster. Photo: Getty Images

AS ENGLAND'S raw, inexperienced squad boarded its flight to Edinburgh for the match against Scotland (4am tomorrow, Sydney time), coach Stuart Lancaster will have made sure his players knew this was not a frivolous activity.

''This is a team for now and a team for the future,'' Lancaster said. ''Now is their time.''

England, with eight uncapped players in the squad of 22, have less than half the number (236) of caps Scotland will field. Three players, Saracens centres Owen Farrell and Brad Barritt and evergreen Northampton No.8 Phil Dowson, make their debuts in the starting XV. Seven others have fewer than 10 caps. Lancaster has given himself no get-out-of-jail options on the bench, where five uncapped players reside.

The coach revealed he would back these players come what may. That endorsement not only quelled anxiety, it also gave players licence to express themselves.

''Will there be wholesale changes win, lose or draw? No, there won't,'' Lancaster said. ''The framework of what we are trying to achieve and the way we are trying to play will remain the same throughout the Six Nations The players know that.''

Even though this is set to be the most inexperienced England line-up since 1963, when eight new caps beat Wales (13-6) at the Arms Park, Lancaster was quick to point out there were eight in his starting XV who played in the World Cup. There is also a strong Saracens contingent upon which to rely.

Lancaster wants a ballplayer alongside Charlie Hodgson so England can mix their options. Barritt will provide the heft, Hodgson the touch and Farrell, the goal-kicker too, a bit of everything.

''We are asking them to play in a different way,'' Lancaster said.

Telegraph, London

Rugby Internationals 2014

Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Report Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 15 vs ITA Report Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR 36 vs AUS 40 Report Stats
USA 6 vs NZL 74 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 24 vs SAM 13 Report Stats
ENG 21 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
WAL 28 vs AUS 33 Report Stats
FRA 40 vs FJI 14 Report Stats
IRE 29 vs RSA 15 Report Stats
SCO 41 vs ARG 31 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 18 vs ARG 20 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs RSA 31 Report Stats
WAL 17 vs FJI 13 Report Stats
SCO 16 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
FRA 29 vs AUS 26 Report Stats
Mon, 17 NovTimes shown AEDT
IRE 49 vs GEO 7 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 6 vs RSA 22 Report Stats
SCO 37 vs TGA 12 Report Stats
IRE 26 vs AUS 23 Report Stats
WAL 16 vs NZL 34 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs SAM 9 Report Stats
FRA 13 vs ARG 18 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
ENG 26 vs AUS 17 Report Stats
WAL 12 vs RSA 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
 
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