STUART LANCASTER, WHO will take charge of Leinster’s defence with immediate effect, said he wants to help the province become a “dominant force in Europe again”.
Lancaster was introduced at Leinster’s UCD base today. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO
The former England head coach was unveiled to the media at Leinster’s UCD base this afternoon, after the province had earlier announced that Lancaster would join Leo Cullen’s backroom staff as a ‘Senior Coach.’
That role will see Lancaster primarily focus on Leinster’s defence after the departure of previous incumbent Kurt McQuilkin, although Lancaster said he also hopes to influence the province’s attack and academy system.
“Mainly to help Leo and, certainly, to help Leinster rugby become a dominant force in Europe again, and go one better [in the Pro12],” said Lancaster this afternoon when asked what his job as senior coach will involve.
Lancaster revealed that his first contact with the province came less than two weeks ago, when head coach Cullen called him.
“The more we talked, the more it became clear that with Kurt going, there was an opportunity to come in and I think Leo felt that I could offer value in attack and defence, with the experiences I’ve had.
“From my point of view, I’m more than happy to work underneath Leo because I don’t know the club, I don’t know the environment, I don’t know the relationships and everything. It suits me down to the ground just to get back into coaching again.”
Cullen stated that Lancaster will step into the role of defence coach “straight away” this week, ahead of Saturday’s visit to Glasgow Warriors in the Guinness Pro12.
Lancaster met Leinster’s players for the first time today. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO
Lancaster – who most recently had a stint with Counties Manukau in New Zealand – was head coach of England and does not have an outstanding reputation as a defence coach, but he pointed out that he has experience in that aspect of the game.
“If you’re talking about experience in coaching, I’ve coached just about every part of the game,” said Lancaster. “I had a teaching career until I was 30 but I’ve been coaching now for 16 years.
“I think there’s a perception in England that I probably didn’t do any coaching. Andy Farrell clearly led on the defence when I was with England, but I was coaching defence not less than three weeks ago in New Zealand. At Counties Manukau, my main remit was to coach defence.
“I’ve got my own philosophy. Clearly, it’s been influenced by people I’ve worked under as defence coaches. I watched Mike Ford when he was the England defence coach, Andy Farrell latterly, I worked with Paul Gustard in Argentina when he came with me.