Tuesday 20 March 2018

Lancaster excited about his role in Leinster's future

Stuart Lancaster: ‘Leinster are in a very good position, short, medium and long term.’ Photo: Sportsfile
Stuart Lancaster: ‘Leinster are in a very good position, short, medium and long term.’ Photo: Sportsfile
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

After the bruising encounter that saw five players forced off early, Leinster supporters will have been glad to hear Stuart Lancaster speak so positively about his desire to play a part in what he believes is a genuinely exciting future at the province.

Lancaster has had a hugely positive impact on the Leinster squad since he arrived at the start of the season and it hasn't just been the younger players that have spoke glowingly about the former England coach, but the senior guys have done so as well.

Lancaster is expected to soon sign a two-year contract extension and help continue to build towards the future.

The 47-year-old, who is renowned for his work with academy players, has also spent time in recent weeks keeping a close eye on future Leinster players and he has been very impressed by the standard of the schools Senior Cup.

While the likes of Joey Carbery, Adam Byrne, Rory O'Loughlin and Dan Leavy have excelled this season, Lancaster believes that the level of talent that is coming behind them is just as promising.

"All the players that people are unaware of who haven't broken into the team, who I know having coached them because I coach them every day - how good they're going to be," Lancaster said.

"Like an Andrew Porter or an Ed Byrne, Bryan Byrne coming on at hooker - I know he scored from the other side - you've got Max Deegan, James Ryan to come back in and you've got some of the younger outside backs that already pushing - Adam Byrne, Rory O'Loughlin.

"The average age of the squad is probably no more than 24/25 and the quality of the lads coming through… the other thing is I didn't really appreciate how the academy system and the schools system worked here.

"I did a coaching session for some schools and watching the schools cup now and seeing that, how that shapes and develops players through the intensity of that competition, the quality in the way in which those players are coached and you ally that to a very strong club programme as well, so you get the best of both worlds.

"Having worked in academies in England, I know what the different levels of academies are and this is a very good breeding ground for talent, so Leinster are in a very good position both short, medium and long term."

routine After an excellent display against Edinburgh last week, Joey Carbery may have felt that he had done enough to force his way back into the Ireland squad but he will have to bide his time.

The 21-year old was forced off with cramp, leaving Leinster to finish the routine bonus-point win with 14 players but Lancaster insists that there is still plenty of time for Carbery to play his part in Ireland's Six Nations campaign.

"It's still early days with Joey for me," Lancaster maintained.

"He came on against Treviso, and started at 10 and moved to 15. I still think he's had quite an extended run-out.

"Ireland have got two or three different options at 10 and 15, so I can see why they've retained the squad they've got.

"They've got a very good squad of 34/35 players and it gives Joey a chance to play this weekend and then with a week off in between the final two games, Joey will want to put his hand up for those."

Irish Independent

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