Lancaster calls on English spirit
February 3, 2012
Stuart Lancaster keeps a watchful eye over England © Getty Images
Interim coach Stuart Lancaster believes team unity and an acknowledgement of history will see his youthful England side begin brightly in the Six Nations.
Lancaster requested players' families and friends write letters to fill his charges with passion ahead of the team's trip to Murrayfield this Saturday. The 42-year-old has selected eight debutants in his squad, and says the message in training this week has centred around reviving pride in the England jersey.
"For me it is a responsibility to represent your country and represent everyone who has supported you on your journey," said Lancaster. "You are joining a very exclusive club.
"You can imagine how powerful it is, to receive something like that, whether it's just a few comments from your parents or coach or your schoolteacher who helped you on your journey.
"They all said a few words about what it means to them to see you play for your country. It was the best way I could get people to understand, it's not just about you; it's about everyone around you when you play for England."
England have not won in Edinburgh since 2004. However, Lancaster insists the bond that links his team with the nation will provide his side the advantage heading into the Calcutta Cup clash.
"The spirit that binds the English nation is probably the most powerful force. You saw that in 2003 [World Cup] and when England won the Ashes, or the football at Euro '96. What we've got to do is harness that and try to give them a team to cheer about," he said.
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