England look to cricket's recipe for success
January 5, 2012
Hugh Morris, the managing director of England cricket, is set to address the England squad during their pre-tournament training camp © Getty Images
England are hoping to follow the lead of their cricketing counterparts by putting their recent woes behind them and becoming the best side in the world.
Interim head coach Stuart Lancaster has been inspired by the turnaround in fortunes of the England cricket team who are currently ranked as the No.1 Test side in the world having emerged successfully from the upheaval that saw Peter Moores sacked as coach and Kevin Pietersen resign as captain.
As part of his Six Nations preparations, Lancaster has invited Hugh Morris, the managing director of England cricket, to address the squad during their pre-tournament training camp with the intent of writing the wrongs of a Rugby World Cup campaign that hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons.
Lancaster is confident England's rugby team can emulate their cricketing cousins by the time they compete in the 2015 World Cup on home soil. "It took England [cricket] some time to go from sixth to first in the world. But ultimately that has to be our aim. Our aim has to be to be number one in the world before 2015," Lancaster said. "Cricket did have issues. It wasn't that long ago that they were struggling with one or two things off the field.
"I don't think any team gets it right completely all the time. That's the nature of every team. Dealing with issues and learning from them and moving on. It takes a long time to build it. You can't just wave a magic wand and create it. You have to build it and grow it."
Dave Brailsford, the mastermind of British Cycling's success, has been invited along with Morris to address the England squad on elite performance. Lancaster has also asked England rugby league captain Jamie Peacock and a British soldier to speak on what it means to represent the country.
"It's a matter of learning from other sports," Lancaster said. "Cycling has clearly done something well, as has cricket. I am quite proactive at looking at other sports and speaking to other coaches from other sports.
"I really appreciate on my journey as a coach how I've developed because of lessons from other sports. I don't think players ever get that opportunity, so what we want to do is extend that opportunity to players that we've had as coaches."
Lancaster is looking to instil a new culture in the squad, which why the pre-tournament training camp has been moved from Portugal to Leeds. "We want the behaviour of an England player to be responsible and professional, and players should have a good attitude," Lancaster said.
With that culture in mind, Danny Care was banned from Six Nations selection after he was arrested for drink driving in the early hours of New Year's Day. "You just can't do it as a leading professional sportsman. We are at the start of a new campaign. We can't tolerate it and that is why we have taken the stance we have," said assistant coach Graham Rowntree.
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