29/03/2012 09:43 BST | Updated 29/03/2012 09:46 BST

Stuart Lancaster To Be Named England Rugby Union Coach

Stuart Lancaster has been appointed England head coach, Press Association Sport understands.

The Rugby Football Union are expected to confirm the announcement at a press conference on Thursday afternoon.

Lancaster's permanent appointment follows a successful reign as interim head coach, during which he led England to second place in the RBS 6 Nations and rebuilt the reputation of the national team.

Lancaster saw off competition from the former South Africa and Italy coach Nick Mallett to be proposed for the job by Ian Ritchie, the RFU's new chief executive, who oversaw the recruitment process.

Ritchie was assisted by an advisory panel comprising Conor O'Shea and Ian McGeechan – the Harlequins and Bath directors of rugby respectively – the RFU's professional rugby director, Rob Andrew, and the former England flanker Richard Hill.

Lancaster's appointment was ratified, it is understood, by the RFU board in a conference call on Wednesday night. He will now lead England to the World Cup in 2015.

There was no word on whether Andy Farrell, who was part of Lancaster's interim management team during the Six Nations, will be joining the full-time coaching team. Farrell remains under contract at Saracens, who said on Wednesday that there had been no official approach from the RFU.

Lancaster, a former Leeds director of rugby, was in charge of the England Saxons and elite player development at the RFU when he took over the national team after Martin Johnson stood down.

England had crashed out of the World Cup in the quarter-finals and the subsequent leaked reports indicated a squad riven by distrust and competing agendas.

Lancaster rebuilt the England team and they won four of their five matches in the Six Nations, including a victory over the World Cup finalists France in Paris and a 30-9 thumping of Ireland at Twickenham.

More to follow...