Stuart Lancaster: Leinster coach ‘feels 100% wanted’ at Pro14 club

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Lancaster has forged a successful partnership with Leinster head coach Leo Cullen

Stuart Lancaster says it would take a “strong position” to persuade him to leave his coaching role at Leinster.

The ex-England coach, 49, helped the Irish province to a European and Pro14 double last season, and has since been linked with several top jobs.

Interim RFU boss Nigel Melville has not ruled out a possible England return for the man who lost his job in the aftermath of the 2015 World Cup.

He has also been touted for a role with incoming Ireland coach Andy Farrell.

“The one thing I’ve learned is that, for me, it’s all about the role and the people,” Lancaster told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Sportsweek programme.

“After the World Cup I went to Australia. One of the people I met was [England rugby league coach] Wayne Bennett, who told me whatever I did or wherever I went to make sure I 100% wanted to go there and they 100% wanted me to come. It was probably the best advice I was given, and I genuinely feel that at Leinster.

“The role is a hands-on coaching role, which I really enjoy. It’s with good people in a talented squad, it suits my family, which is hugely important because you put them through a huge amount when you are a national coach.

“It’s not ideal because I don’t live at home in Leeds but I can get home to see the family so it would take a strong position outside of Leinster for me to leave because it’s such a good environment to be in.”

Lancaster is being linked with an Ireland coaching role when his former England assistant Andy Farrell takes charge

‘More players and more money’ no guarantee of success

Three years on from his departure from the England job, Lancaster has rebuilt his reputation at Leinster, whose players have praised his “comfortable in chaos” training sessions.

He spent time developing his coaching philosophy with short-term roles at NFL franchise the Atlanta Falcons, New Zealand Mitre 10 Cup side Counties Manukau and British Cycling’s high-performance unit before returning to a full-time job.

And that allowed him to have a fresh perspective on his time with England – and why the job remains such a difficult one.

“Because of the size of the country in terms of rugby and the media scrutiny that comes alongside, it means that it is demanding,” he said.

“Just because there’s more players and more money doesn’t equate to you having the best team because in a game of rugby you need 23 players and Scotland are equally capable of producing 23 good players as are Ireland, France, Australia, etc.

“There’s no guarantee that more players gives you a better outcome. The system has to be conducive to national success and in England sometimes the system doesn’t help and it makes it more challenging but it’s not impossible by any stretch of the imagination.”

Lancaster’s England were the first sole Rugby World Cup host nation to fail to reach the knockout rounds

A Six Nations World Cup winner?

During the recent autumn series, England and Ireland laid down markers in the build-up to next year’s World Cup in Japan.

Six Nations champions Ireland climbed to second place in the world rankings following their memorable win over New Zealand in Dublin, after Eddie Jones’ England had pushed the world champions all the way in a gripping encounter at Twickenham.

The two sides will meet in the opening round of the 2019 Six Nations in a contest that could prove decisive in the destination of the title.

And Lancaster says neither team should be judged solely on their performances when they reach the World Cup.

“I sometimes wonder whether too much is put into just one moment in one game. Let’s say Ireland don’t succeed, does that mean that Joe [Schmidt] has not been great?” he said. “He’s been fantastic for Ireland.

“I hope England do well because you invest so much time in it and I know the players.”

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