England boss Stuart Lancaster is delighted with the impact his side’s stunning win over New Zealand has had on the wider rugby community.
Lancaster led England to a 38-21 triumph over the All Blacks at Twickenham the Saturday before last as his side ended their autumn campaign on an almighty high.
The impressive Twickenham showing against the reigning World Champions was England’s first victory over the Kiwis since 2003 and their first at HQ in a full decade.
And while success was a huge fillip for the national side and the professional game as a whole, Lancaster has also seen first-hand how big a boost it has been for grassroots rugby.
Lancaster still coaches youth rugby on a Sunday morning despite his exalted position with the cream of the crop and this weekend he was surrounded by kids who now have an added enthusiasm for the sport.
“It’s been fantastic – the performance captured the imagination of the rugby public, which is great,” Lancaster told the Daily Mail at West Park Leeds U12s versus Doncaster in the Yorkshire Cup on Sunday.
“My son played a school game on Saturday at Nottingham High School, and I went down to watch. It really brought it home to me the impact that one result has had on so many people. I was even asked to do a motivational team talk for one of the sides there, who were struggling at half-time.
“So many mums and dads have already been talking about where they were watching the game, shouting at the telly.
“I turned up to training here on Wednesday and afterwards, I got a nice text from one of the parents. He said that, after training, his son was saying, ‘After watching the game on Saturday, I just want to play rugby all the time now’”.