It’s becoming increasingly difficult for the English Rugby Football Union to refuse Stuart Lancaster the permanent post as England coach. A rare win for England in Paris underlined Lancaster’s credentials, and kept England in with an outside hope of winning the Six Nations.
England managed to hold on to win 24-22, resisting a late French flurry after tries from Manu Tuilagi, Ben Foden and Tom Croft had secured an advantage. A familiar weakness for giving away unnecessary penalties allowed the French to envisage a comeback, but in the end England merited their win in the Stade De France.
Lancaster has maintained a steady dignity and resolve while the RFU courted various candidates for the post he has filled impressively during his stint as caretaker. He has won 3 tough away matches in this year’s Six Nations, and the only defeat on his watch was to in-form Wales at Twickenham
"I'm delighted with the performance tonight," Lancaster said after the Paris win. "I'm hugely proud of the efforts they all put in, it's not easy to come here and win. It really epitomises the character of the side we're trying to build. Great credit to the French as well, they never gave up."
England now have to beat Ireland comprehensively in their final match and hope results elsewhere work in their favour. "I always say you control the controllables. You can't control other results," Lancaster said. "What we can control is really focus on playing an Irish side we have a huge amount of respect for."