Lancaster is a welcome breath of fresh air
There was a very different feel to Twickenham on Thursday. There were smiles, there was laughter, there was genuine warmth between England's new coaching staff and members of the media. It was a most welcome change.
Levity has been in short supply at the Rugby Football Union recently. So too, integrity and straight talking - which made Stuart Lancaster's arrival at the top table all the more significant. England's new interim head coach was courteous, engaging, passionate and organised.
He came across as highly motivated, and fully across his brief. Time - and results - will reveal whether he is up to the job.
Lancaster has been parachuted into the role to breathe life back into English rugby. He spoke of the need to select players not only of talent, but of character; of the need "to be the best, and beat the best". He talked tough on discipline. "Behaviour shapes performance," he said.
Stuart Lancaster (centre) poses with coaching staff Andy Farrell (right) and Graham Rowntree (left). Photo: Getty
The message was clear. He will not stand for the kind of indiscretions that sullied the recent World Cup campaign in New Zealand.
The new head man reiterated time and again the need to get the culture right, to bring pride back to the Red Rose, and to play a brand of rugby that will thrill and entertain.
He spoke warmly of his "dream team" of fellow coaches, Graham Rowntree and Andy Farrell.
Perhaps most significantly, each of the coaching trio echoed a philosophy of building towards the next World Cup in 2015.
The "one game at a time" mantra will be abandoned, in search of a trusted band of brothers and a recognised game plan for the next four years.
All of which is admirable and sensible. Actually making it happen will prove the difficult bit - Martin Johnson will testify to that.
Lancaster and his cohorts will have quite a job in helping the players to draw a line under the damaging events in New Zealand, and indeed the subsequent fall-out from the leaked reports. The episode has left scars that will take some time to heal.
So is Stuart Lancaster the right man for the job? He seems to be a good man for this particular job. In all likelihood, he will make way for a bigger hitter in the summer.
Nick Mallett and Wayne Smith are at the top of the RFU's most wanted list, and they will almost certainly demand their own men around them. Perhaps the permanent job might come with a proviso that the head coach must hire an Englishman (or several).
That remains to be seen. Most experienced international coaches would insist on choosing their own backroom staff.
There are a number of factors weighing in Lancaster's favour. A fresh sheet of paper is one of them.
He can choose his own players, mould his own leadership group, adapt a style all of his own. He is not beholden to the previous regime, nor indeed the future one.
He has an unrivalled knowledge of the youngsters in the English system, having coached them through the Academy and the Saxons set-up.
He is well-liked, and appears to have the respect of the players. You sense the English rugby public will give him a fair hearing too.
For Lancaster, the situation is win-win. Any success he enjoys will be seen as something of a bonus, given the circumstances.
He has a huge number of excellent players to choose from. He can enhance his longer-term prospects enormously over the next few months.
In his own mind, he will no doubt be determined to make it as hard as he can for the bosses at Twickenham to push him to one side, once the Six Nations Championship is over. And so he should. They all should.
Lancaster's critics will rightly point to a lack of top-level experience and international clout.
He was director of rugby at Leeds, where he dragged the club back to the top flight after relegation, only to oversee their subsequent fall through the trapdoor the following season.
His time with the Saxons and England age-groups has been nothing but successful, but arguably with the resources - both playing and financial - there would be no excuse for failure. He is unproven in the rarefied air of Test rugby.
The pressures, the quality of the opposition, and the scrutiny are in an altogether different league to anything he will have experienced.
Lancaster may fail. He might be exposed as a selector, and indeed as a rookie international head coach.
But there is every chance of a brighter future for England under this low-profile, former PE teacher.
As a passionate rugby man who has waited all his career for this opportunity, what is clear is that Stuart Lancaster will do everything in his powers to make a success of it. And that is all anyone could ask.