Leinster coach Lancaster takes guest session with Ireland U20s

The Englishman has invested into the local coaching scene since moving to Ireland.

LEINSTER SENIOR COACH Stuart Lancaster joined the Ireland U20s for a guest session on Monday as Noel McNamara’s side prepared for this weekend’s Six Nations opener away to France.

Lancaster has settled happily in Ireland since joining Leinster in 2016 and has invested some of his experience into the local coaching scene.

Stuart Lancaster Gary Carr / INPHO Gary Carr / INPHO / INPHO

Having already run a number of coaching seminars for clubs and schools coaches in Leinster, Lancaster has now offered up his time to aid the Ireland U20s’ preparation, with Leinster on holidays this week.

McNamara’s U20 side are already benefiting from having the experience of Ireland and Munster legend Paul O’Connell on board as their forwards coach.

Lancaster’s input is likely to have provided a boost to the Irish squad ahead of their meeting with France.

The former England boss – who resigned from that position after their failure to advance from the pool stages of their home 2015 World Cup – has earned rave reviews from Leinster’s players since joining in September 2016.

He has been credited with inspiring the major growth in Leinster’s attacking game, with offloading and intelligent attacking kicking just two of the features the Englishman has encouraged in the province’s players.

With Leo Cullen remaining in his position of head coach at Leinster, Lancaster has been able to focus largely on coaching on the pitch, something he has stated has been particularly enjoyable.

And Lancaster’s desire to share his coaching knowledge appears to be benefiting the Irish system as he delivers guidance to coaches at grassroots levels, as well as now joining the U20s for a guest session.

Former Leinster player Bernard Jackman, now head coach with the Dragons in the Pro14, is enthusiastic to see the IRFU using resources like Lancaster to further the development of young players.

“The high performance unit are bringing through those young players and it’s pretty impressive,” says Jackman. “For those youngsters to get access to Lancaster for a day, he’s only going to help them.

“He’s run the seminars in Leinster for coaches too. He’s come from the bottom, and he’s someone who’s passionate about his craft and wants to share that.”

The U20s will play France on Friday night at in Brive [KO 8pm Irish time, RTÉ 2].

- This article was updated at 11.54am to correct the venue for Friday night’s clash with France from ‘Bordeaux’ to ‘Brive’.

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