Friday 18 January 2019

Stuart Lancaster happy at Leinster but leaves door open for talks with Andy Farrell about Ireland role

Stuart Lancaster. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Stuart Lancaster. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Stuart Lancaster has described himself as "very happy" with his current role at Leinster but stopped short of committing his long-term future to the province.

Although he has been linked with roles at England, Ireland and Bath in recent weeks, Lancaster says he has had no contact from outside Leinster where he is in talks about a new deal. His current contract expires at the end of this season.

The former England supremo says he intends to sit down with future Ireland coach Andy Farrell in the coming weeks to discuss his plans.

The two worked together with England and Lancaster said his former assistant was the right choice for the Ireland job.

Lancaster currently commutes from his home in Cumbria to his job as senior coach with Leinster, but is happy with the current arrangement.

It remains to be seen whether he'll continue it, however.

"There's definitely talks ongoing," he said of his negotiations with his current employers.

"I'm happy with where I'm at. The family situation works, it's not ideal and I've said that consistently that flying backwards and forwards, my daughter's just gone to university and my son is a year away from going to university. I occasionally see my wife.

"But yeah I'm certainly happy with Leinster but we'll see how it all plays out.

"It's up to Andy to build his coaching team. The reality is he needs his coaching team to be ready by January 2020.

"I've not caught up with him actually since the announcement, I will do soon I'm sure and it will be up to him to shape that. I'll have that conversation with him.

"He's the right man for the job in my opinion, I think that when Joe announced he was going there was only one person I felt was qualified to do the job and that was Andy.

"He's sat as an assistant coach for eight years now, four with me and four with Joe.

"And when you're sat in that assistant coaching role you can learn a lot about what you would do when you get your chance and Andy has got the opportunity now over the next six to nine months to put that into place.

"I think of my appointment as England head coach, I got it in December and my first game was in January. Andy's got a year to decide what he wants to do, so I don't think he'll be in a hurry.

"I enjoy club coaching, the day to day stuff. For me it is all about the role that I would do that would give me the best opportunity to keep developing as a leader.

"But it's up to Andy to formulate his plans, but one thing is for certain he will always get my 110% support."

Lancaster said he had not given much thought to a return to his position as England coach, despite interim RFU chief executive Nigel Melville's recent comments saying the union would be open to talking to the coach who presided over the country's home World Cup quarter-final exit.

"I think they suggested that every coach in world rugby is of interest, I don't think it's narrowed down to me," he said.

"I think that was the way it was described, but I think Nigel Melville said they'd be happy to talk to any coach and I'd fall into that category."

"It's a hypothetical situation because it's never been suggested. I've never spoken to Nigel Melville or the RFU so I don't even exercise my mind thinking about it."

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