England rugby's interim head coach Lancaster attends the launch of the Six Nations rugby championship at the Hurlingham Club in London
England rugby's interim head coach Stuart Lancaster attends the launch of the Six Nations rugby championship at the Hurlingham Club in London January 25, 2012. REUTERS

England's interim head coach Stuart Lancaster has confirmed his desire to take the role on a fulltime basis and has admitted he will be applying for the job.

The Rugby Football Union have publicly advertised the position and although a host of experienced candidates have been associated with the role since Martin Johnson's resignation and England's nadir at the World Cup in New Zealand, Lancaster suggests his brief spell at the helm has given him an appetite to do the job on a full-time basis.

Nick Mallett, Wayne Smith and John Kirwan are just a few of the names mentioned with international experience, while Northampton's director of rugby Jim Mallinder has long been championed as the leading home-grown candidate to succeed Johnson.

Although the aforementioned would appear to have more experience than Lancaster, the former head of elite player development at the RFU is keen to stake a claim.

"I will be applying," Lancaster is quoted by the Manchester Evening News. "The job has been advertised. It's a good job and I am sure there will be a lot of interest worldwide and in England.

"My hat will be in the ring. I love working with teams and trying to help players improve. The opportunity to do that at the highest level with England is fantastic."

Meanwhile, Sir Clive Woodward believes Lancaster is hugely fortunate to have been appointed England's interim coach given his relative lack of experience at international level.

The former director of Leeds Carnegie has taken control of England on a short term basis and although his honest but positive enthusiasm has been a breath of fresh air, the 2003 World Cup winning coach concedes the position is perhaps above Lancaster's station.

"Considering the fact that he's never coached a team at Premiership level he must be thinking how lucky he is to get this opportunity," Woodward told The Daily Mail.

"You wish him well but international rugby is a tough environment. My advice to him would be to play it down.

"Look, he's spoken a lot of common sense but it's easy to talk common sense. How can we make any judgments when we've not seen how his teams even play? In the end he will be judged solely on results. The Six Nations is a tough competition and he's got a lot to prove."

While there is an argument to suggests there are better equipped candidates to halt the palpable malaise in English rugby, Woodward suggests Lancaster's demeanour has been hugely encouraging.

"A fresh approach was needed at Twickenham and it's (been) good media work. But the closer he comes to the first game, against Scotland, the more he'll realise this other stuff is irrelevant. The relevant stuff is about how his players hit the first rucks and how they use the ball they win."