Tuesday 19 March 2019

Farrell blow as Lancaster opts to extend stay with Leinster

Leinster Rugby have confirmed this evening a contract extension for Head Coach Leo Cullen. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Leinster Rugby have confirmed this evening a contract extension for Head Coach Leo Cullen. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Rúaidhrí O'Connor

Leinster will go forward with their Champions Cup-winning coaching partnership of Leo Cullen and Stuart Lancaster for the next two seasons after the pair agreed new contracts.

The province announced that Cullen has signed a two-year deal with the IRFU, while the duration of Lancaster's extension has not been made public as per the club policy. However, it is understood it will also run until 2021. Lancaster had been linked with a role on Andy Farrell's Ireland coaching ticket after the World Cup, but he has opted to remain working at provincial level.

However, Leinster could yet lose scrum coach John Fogarty to Ireland. The former hooker's contract is up at the end of the season and sources indicate he has been identified by Farrell as the leading candidate to replace Greg Feek.

The province still hold out hope of retaining the popular former player beyond the end of the season but it remains to be seen if he will take on a job in the national set-up.

The retention of former captain Cullen and ex-England supremo Lancaster is a coup for Leinster, however, while Felipe Contepomi and Hugh Hogan remain in contract.

Although he was propelled into the role ahead of time and endured a difficult first season in charge, Cullen has been a huge success as Leinster coach, guiding the team to the 2017 European and PRO14 semi-finals before winning both competitions a year later.

Recruiting Lancaster ahead of the 2016/17 season has proven to be a masterstroke. Hugely respected by the players and his fellow coaches, he has rebuilt his reputation in his two-and-a-half seasons in Ireland.

Irish Independent

The Throw-In: Dublin's issues, Corofin's greatness and Waterford's quiet development

In association with Allianz

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport