Stuart Lancaster: Former England coach keen to extend Leinster stay

Stuart Lancaster
Stuart Lancaster returned to coaching with Leinster 10 months after leaving his position as England boss
European Champions Cup quarter-final: Leinster v Wasps
Venue: Aviva Stadium, Dublin Date: Saturday, 1 April Kick-off: 15:15 BST
Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and score updates on the BBC Sport website

Former England head coach Stuart Lancaster says there is "a very good chance" he could stay at Leinster beyond the end of this season.

Lancaster, 47, was appointed in September until the end of the season.

He has helped the Irish side top the Pro12 and reach the European Rugby Champions Cup quarter-finals, where they will play Wasps on Saturday.

"I am enjoying it, hopefully for the next few years, and we'll see where we go from there," Lancaster said.

"Nothing has been signed or sealed yet but there is a very good chance I will stay.

"It is a an easy decision in that I love the club and love the city."

Lancaster 'grateful' for Leinster chance

Lancaster is in his first role since resigning after four years as England boss when the hosts failed to get out of their 2015 World Cup pool.

He took on the role at Leinster after being approached by the club's head coach, Leo Cullen.

"The move came out of the blue really," said Lancaster. "It was Leo Cullen who said would I fancy coming for a chat about a potential role. I was open-minded and he was open-minded and we had a good chat on a Sunday. I was at the airport car park and he said: 'why not, then?' and I couldn't think of a reason.

"It was announced on the Monday morning and I literally turned up on Monday morning with a suitcase and I was stood in front of the players and we were playing Glasgow on the Friday.

"It has been a really good move and I am grateful to Leinster to giving me the opportunity."

Stuart Lancaster
England exited the 2015 World Cup when they lost to Wales and Australia in Pool A

'The pressure would never go away'

Lancaster left his role at England after they became the first sole host nation to be eliminated in the group stage of a World Cup.

He won 28 of his 46 games in charge but said the pressure of his role started to takes its toll on himself and his family.

"There was a weight on my shoulders that would never go away," he added.

"The pressure of the next game, the pressure of the clock ticking towards the World Cup, some of the decisions I had to make, some of the disciplinary things that unfolded on my watch.

"My wife is pretty resilient but my parents suffered more so really. I was very conscious of them when I spoke to them after the World Cup and the important time in their lives, mid-70s and the last thing they wanted to see was me miserable all the time.

"Now they have seen me with a smile on my face."

'Leeds to Dublin is a better commute than to London'

Lancaster splits his time between Dublin and Leeds - where his wife and children are based.

It means he is a regular commuter from Leeds-Bradford airport, but Lancaster finds the 40-minute flight much easier than when he used to travel to London for his England commitments.

"People underestimate the challenges of coaching and the pressure I put on my own family by taking the national job, being located in London and living in Leeds," he said.

"The kids were going through their teenage years without me being around and, obviously with the pressure of the World Cup and the fallout of the World Cup, I felt I needed to prioritise the family.

"It is not perfect because I am not home every night but it is as good as it is going to get."

Listen to the full interview on BBC Radio 5 live's European Champions Cup preview show on Thursday, 20 March at 21:00 BST

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