Thursday 24 January 2019

Lancaster shrugs off Saints link as Leinster sweat over Healy hearing

Senior coach Stuart Lancaster during Leinster training at UCD yesterday. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Senior coach Stuart Lancaster during Leinster training at UCD yesterday. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Stuart Lancaster has distanced himself from the vacant position at Northampton Saints and reiterated his commitment to Leinster.

The 48-year-old is contracted to Leinster until the end of next season and despite speculation in England linking him with a return to his home country, Lancaster insisted that he has not spoken to the club, nor does he intend to.

Northampton Saints are currently on the look-out for a new director of rugby after they sacked Jim Mallinder.

Departing Wales coach Warren Gatland is the latest name linked to the post after the club's president Keith Barwell revealed that they would be keen to talk to the Kiwi.

"I'm contracted to Leinster until the end of next season, that's my situation. I've not spoken to any English club," Lancaster said.

"It's almost an irrelevant point really because I've not spoken to anyone from any English club.

"They have not contacted me and I have not contacted them so to have me linked is pure speculation from my point of view.

"As I have said consistently, it wasn't a hard decision to stay at Leinster and extend my contract by another year.

"I'm really enjoying what I'm doing, it fits my family. I'm coaching a great team in two good competitions. That's all that's on my mind.

"I can't see it happening. I can't see why it would because I'm at a great club at the moment."

Lancaster and Leinster are currently sweating over the result of Cian Healy's disciplinary hearing, which takes place in London today.

Healy is facing the prospect of being banned for allegedly charging into a ruck with his forearm in Saturday's win over Exeter Chiefs.

The incident occurred in the 17th minute of the game at the Aviva Stadium when Healy was shown a yellow card by referee Pascal Gauzere.

If found guilty, the in-form loosehead prop faces the prospect of being banned for the festive interprovincial derbies.

Meanwhile, the uncapped Barry Daly is amongst the large Leinster contingent in Ireland's mini training camp at Carton House this week.

The speedy winger - who enjoyed a terrific start to the season - has recovered fully from the ankle injury that has kept him out of action since the Champions Cup win in Glasgow back in October and he could return against Munster on St Stephen's Day.


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