Stuart Lancaster’s move to Racing 92 confirmed

Leinster announce that the English coach will move to France at the end of the season

Stuart Lancaster will leave Leinster at the end of the season to take up a coaching role with Racing 92, the province confirmed on Monday afternoon.

The former England head coach’s future has been the subject of recent speculation, with The Irish Times reporting last week that the move was imminent, and ahead of a press conference this afternoon confirmation of Lancaster’s role in Paris has come through.

He will stay with Leinster until the end of his current contract at the end of this season.

During Lancaster’s six seasons so far on Leo Cullen’s coaching ticket - he arrived in 2016 - Leinster have added one Champions Cup (2018) and four Pro14 titles to their trophy cabinet. He is a popular figure among the province’s playing cohort having run both the attack and defence in recent seasons.

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“I will be eternally grateful to Leo, Mick [Dawson, former Leinster CEO] and Guy [Easterby, head of rugby operations] and the whole Leinster organisation for the opportunity they gave me and my family back in 2016,” said Lancaster upon the announcement.

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

“I have always wanted to challenge myself as a coach in different ways and the opportunity to coach in France at a club like Racing 92 is an exciting one and I will look forward to that challenge when it comes.

“In the meantime, I really want to give everything to the whole of Leinster Rugby and the supporters in the next eight months as I feel we have more to come as we drive towards the exciting challenge ahead both in the URC and in Europe.”

“I think there has always been a realisation that Stuart would move on to a new challenge at some stage,” said Leo Cullen to leinsterrugby.ie. “For that reason, we feel fortunate to have had him here for as long as we have, and we wish him, his wife Nina and kids Sophie and Dan the very best in their next adventure with Racing 92 in France.

“We have had some great days together and, on a personal level, Stu has been an incredible support. We will all miss him but I am very excited and enthused to go on and try to achieve further success this season as a group.”

Nathan Johns

Nathan Johns is an Irish Times journalist