| 12.5°C Dublin

Close

Premium

'There's a great project I'm involved in here' - Stuart Lancaster opens up on life, Leinster and family

'There's a great project I'm involved in here: to build a team that's right at the top of European rugby for the foreseeable future.' Stuart Lancaster opens on life, Leinster and family

Close

Senior Leinster coach Stuart Lancaster. Photo:  David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Senior Leinster coach Stuart Lancaster. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Senior Leinster coach Stuart Lancaster. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Only last week a man in South Africa was telling us how lucky was Leinster's timing that their two-match tour there was next up. Gloriously sunny weather, an opportunity to give game time to lots of players gagging for a run - what could go wrong? Even Covid-19, he said, wasn't the wall-to-wall issue it had become in Europe. "This is South Africa," he declared, in that modest way of theirs. "You'd need to be a tough virus to survive down here." Then the shutters came down.

The reality is none of us are certain when they will be pulled back up. So even the timing of the reintegration of the Ireland contingent on the training field has become hard to nail down. Stuart Lancaster looks fairly wrecked after another long day in limbo. And then a media interview. Yes!

Professional athletes and coaches live by the schedule. Mess it up at the last minute and they lose focus, and become irritable. Which is how Lancaster sounds. He fears another cavity search on the subject of what happened with England in a previous lifetime.