Wednesday 18 October 2017

Lancaster delighted with Blues' 'cohesion'

Stuart Lancaster. Photo: Sportsfile
Stuart Lancaster. Photo: Sportsfile
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Stuart Lancaster has praised the effort that the Leinster players have put in since the November internationals and he is encouraging them to finish their Champions Cup pool on a high in Castres this evening.

Leinster are in pole position to secure a home quarter-final but Lancaster is mindful of the fact that his side have already lost in France (against Montpellier) earlier this season.

Leinster are soon set to be without the majority of their front-line players with the Six Nations set to take hold once again.

Lancaster has had a hugely positive impact since joining Leinster as a senior coach and he singled out the 'cohesion' that has developed over the last two months.

"I think from my point of view it's all about the next game and making sure we back up the performance with a better performance away from home," Lancaster said.

"We put together some really good performances at the RDS and a couple at the Aviva, but now it's about stepping up away from home, finishing the job, finishing with a home quarter-final and then we will deal with that quarter-final when it comes around.

"There's a lot of rugby to go between now and then, the Six Nations finishes with the England-Ireland game, there's a week of Pro12 and then there's a quarter-final.

"So you've got a whole raft of Ireland players who play for Leinster who will be away playing in a different competition, coming back and probably having a week off and then playing in a quarter-final.

"Whereas this period we're in now, we've had a run as a coaching team of six, seven, eight weeks of the same players on the back of the November internationals.

"You can build that cohesion, confidence and continuity, which I think is different at the end of the Six Nations."

Enjoying It remains to be seen if Lancaster will remain with Leinster beyond the end of the season but the former England supremo was eager to stress how much he was enjoying his time with the province.

"I've said before and I'll reiterate it, I'm loving it over here, it has been a really good move for me to come to such a good team with such good players who are hungry to learn and get better.

"There's enough going on in the games at the moment to keep me busy but obviously conversations will continue I'm sure.

"The most important thing for me as well is my family and trying to manage that commute. The kids are 15 and 16 and it's an important time for them so just trying to get that balance right."

Irish Independent

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