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Dublin: 9 °C Thursday 22 March, 2018

'I'm at a great club at the moment': Leinster coach Lancaster plays down English speculation

Stuart Lancaster has been linked with the vacant Northampton Saints job, but says he’ll see out his contract with Leinster.

Lancaster speaking to the media at UCD yesterday.
Lancaster speaking to the media at UCD yesterday.
Image: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

STUART LANCASTER HAS played down speculation linking him to the vacant head coach position at Northampton Saints by reiterating his commitment to Leinster, with whom he is contracted with until the end of next season.

The 48-year-old has been heavily linked with the Saints role following the departure of Jim Mallinder but Lancaster insists he has not been contracted by any English club.

“I’m contracted to Leinster until the end of next season. That’s my situation. I’ve not spoken to any English club,” he said.

“It’s almost an irrelevant point, really, because I’ve not spoken to anyone from any English club. They have not contacted me and I’ve not contacted them, so to have me linked is pure speculation from my point of view.

“As I have said consistently, it wasn’t a hard decision to stay at Leinster and extend my contract by another year. I’m really enjoying what I’m doing, it fits my family. I’m coaching a great team in two good competitions. That’s all that’s on my mind.”

But would you be tempted by an offer?

“I can’t see it happening. I can’t see why it would because I’m at a great club at the moment.”

Looking ahead to the St Stephen’s Day inter-pro against Munster at Thomond Park, Lancaster confirmed Sean O’Brien won’t be available for selection with what he described as ‘non-specific knocks.’

“At the end of the day, he has played two massive games back to back, and you could see he was struggling in the second half so it’s not something we’d be concerned about.

“But he’s a player we have to look after. He’s a top-quality player. We’re not going to consider him for this week but it’s not a big injury crisis for Sean, that’s for sure.”

– First published 15.27

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