3 Dec 2012

England win gives new coach long lifeline

11:37 am on 3 December 2012

English rugby writers had a busy Saturday night in London as their pre-written obituaries on the nation's November series had to be hastily rescripted into paeans of praise in the wake of England's astonishing win over the All Blacks at Twickenham.

England's record-breaking 38-21 demolition of a New Zealand team unbeaten in 20 matches instantly transformed the defeats by South Africa and Australia into mere footnotes.

England's biggest win by a distance over the World Cup holders also bought coach Stuart Lancaster all the time he needs to continue the building job he hopes will culminate in World Cup victory on the same Twickenham turf in three years' time.

Lancaster had been forced to justify his selection and tactical philosophies after almost a year in the job that brought four defeats and a draw in his previous five test matches.

But England go into tonight's World Cup draw in the second tier of seeds, potentially producing a far harder route to the final.