The Official Online RBS 6 Nations Store is open. The store has everything you need to get behind your team during the RBS 6 Nations, plus the store is now fully stocked with a much wider range of rugby merchandise.
And England most-capped ever player admits he’s been impressed by Lancaster since he took the job, initially on a temporary basis back in December, finishing second in the RBS 6 Nations.
“I think it is a group of young potential that will be together going towards the World Cup in 2015. And I think Stuart Lancaster has stuck very true to his word that he wants to develop a team for 2015 and I can see this being quite similar to what we did back in 2000,” said Leonard.
“Clive Woodward’s side went down to South Africa in 2000 and I can see now that was actually the turning point for us for the world cup in 2003. This could be the turning point for Stuart Lancaster and his team for 2015.
“It’s such a great learning curve for young players going down there that I’m not sure we should be looking at it in terms of wins and losses – I think it should be performance.”
There has been one change to the English coaching setup since the RBS 6 Nations, Mike Catt taking over from Andy Farrell as the backs coach.
And having played alongside Catt for a decade, Leonard admits he is expecting the former centre to give England an extra attacking dimension.
He added: “I’m genuinely quite excited for this England team, and I know for a fact, speaking to some of the players going out there, they’re very excited which is what you want.
“I think from what you hear about Mike [Catt] from his time at London Irish he’ll bring something very different to the England group.
“If you look at the way he played the game he used to play outside the box, think outside the box and I think that style will help this backline create chances.
“Like I was saying the one thing this England group is lacking after the 6 Nations is creating tries behind the scrum and Catty will help them with that.
“I think he will get them moving the ball a bit wider, get players like Ashton and Foden into the game.
“If you look at how his London Irish team played the ball around they were comfortable when the game breaks down – and it’s how he saw the game when he was playing, he was one of those players who saw the game a bit different to everyone else.
“He’ll bring something different to the camp and some the young players will learn a lot from him.”
Jason Leonard was helping out with Mitcham RFC's renovation work during RBS RugbyForce Weekend. For more information on the programme visit http://www.rbs6nations.com/en/rugbyforce.php