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Former England Rugby coach Stuart Lancaster prepares for ‘great opportunity’ with Racing 92

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Former England Rugby coach Stuart Lancaster is gearing up for ‘great opportunity’ with Racing 92, but will be ‘eternally grateful’ to Leinster after spending seven years at the club, admitting he needs to ‘brush up on his French!’

  • Stuart Lancaster coached the England rugby team between 2011 and 2015
  • He takes charge of French club Racing 92 after seven years at Leinster
  • The 52-year-old said he would be ‘forever grateful’ to the Belfast club
  • His move means Lancaster will not replace Eddie Jones as England coach

Former England head coach Stuart Lancaster has said it is a ‘great opportunity’ for him to join French giants Racing 92 after confirming he will leave Leinster at the end of the season.

Lancaster led English rugby between 2011 and 2015, but was then removed from office and replaced by Eddie Jones after his team were bombed out of their own World Cup in the second of those years. He joined the Irish province of Leinster in 2016 as a Fresh Start Assistant.

And his impact in Dublin has been extraordinary as Lancaster helped Leinster to one Champions Cup success and four league titles since signing.

Former England head coach Stuart Lancaster takes charge of Racing 92 in France

Now his next challenge is in high-spending Racing. Lancaster’s move to Paris means he will not replace Jones and return to the top job in English rugby.

Jones will continue as England head coach after next year’s World Cup in France. Lancaster will head up Racing 92 and run their rugby operation. At Leinster, he worked as an assistant coach to Leo Cullen.

“It’s very mixed feelings. It’s a great opportunity for me and the family to experience a different culture and environment and come back as number 1 at a big club,” Lancaster said. “It’s definitely a challenge as my French isn’t that great at the moment, so I’ll definitely have to brush up on that.

It means he won't replace Eddie Jones, who is stepping down after the World Cup

It means he won’t replace Eddie Jones, who is stepping down after the World Cup

“Leinster has been a big part of my life. I have spent more time in this environment than in any other environment.’ Lancaster succeeds Laurent Travers as head coach at Racing.

He added: “I will be eternally grateful to Leo and the entire Leinster organization for the opportunity they gave me and my family in 2016.

“Initially it was only for one season and here I am entering my seventh. That is a reflection of all the past and present players I have worked with and the people from Leinster and Ireland who have made me and my family feel so welcome.

Lancaster has spent seven years at Leinster and will be 'forever grateful' to the club

Lancaster has spent seven years at Leinster and will be ‘forever grateful’ to the club

“As a coach I have always wanted to challenge myself in different ways and the opportunity to coach in France at a club like Racing 92 is an exciting one.

“I look forward to that challenge when it comes.

“In the meantime, I really want to give my all to all of Leinster Rugby and the supporters over the next eight months because I think there is still more to come as we face the exciting challenges both in the United Rugby Championship and in Europe. .’


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