Wednesday 24 May 2017

'I don't mind where I fit into the coaching team'

Senior coach Stuart Lancaster. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Senior coach Stuart Lancaster. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Stuart Lancaster only began his new role as a 'senior coach' with Leinster earlier this week but he is already relishing the prospect of tomorrow's mouthwatering clash against Glasgow Warriors.

The former England boss is new to the Pro12 but after studying Glasgow's emphatic win over defending champions Connacht last weekend, he knows that a tough test awaits his side in Scotland.

"I watched the game and they played very well," Lancaster said. "They are very well coached by Gregor (Townsend). We'll need to be at our best to win the game.

"It will be good for me though because I can get my teeth into coaching in terms of the defence and then roll our sleeves up and get stuck into it on Saturday.

"It's great to get into it. Sometimes you join clubs or you get going in pre-season and you're waiting for games but now it's straight into it."

Lancaster's immediate brief will be to fill the void left by former defence coach Kurt McQuilkin who has returned home to New Zealand for personal reasons.

Glasgow pose one of the most potent attacking threats in the league and Lancaster will have a tough task in replicating McQuilkin's systems, but he is confident he can deliver.

"I think I've had a broad range of experiences as a coach," Lancaster said. "I've had probably 50 games in charge of England so you learn a lot by coaching against different countries and learning from different players.

"I think the player development part of my evolution and my development as a coach is something I can offer as well. I've always been big on bringing young players through and trusting them."

Lancaster said it was an easy decision to join Leinster after Leo Cullen had contacted him, and having been in a similar situation himself before, he believes that he can bring his own expertise to the province for the season ahead.

Helping

"Hopefully I can help out in the Academy but primarily it's helping out with the coaching and also helping Leo really because it is a tough job," he said.

"He was made interim coach and then head coach and I've been in that situation. Sometimes I looked around and thought 'this is a real difficult situation, I'm not sure how to deal with this'.

"You look around for help, you get some but it helps if there are senior figures alongside you. Hopefully I can be that sounding board for Leo and help him along the way in a difficult but exciting year.

"I don't mind where I fit within the coaching team. With England I gravitated to the head coaching role and I'm more than happy to help Leo out and pass on what I've learned; that's certainly my intention."

Irish Independent

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