Stuart Lancaster looks to Super Rugby to heal enduring torment of Rugby World Cup failure

Frank Dalleres
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Stuart Lancaster took to a caravan in remote Cumbria to get over his World Cup disappointment (Source: Getty)

Former England head coach Stuart Lancaster admits he is still haunted by last year’s Rugby World Cup failure but is hoping to rebuild his career in the southern hemisphere.

Lancaster’s four-year tenure ended in ignominy in November after his England team became the first hosts of the tournament to suffer elimination at the group stage.

“It’s been a tough six months,” he said. “You think about it every minute of most days, or every day really. A lot of things have happened since then but equally it’s still very fresh in my mind.”

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The 46-year-old former PE teacher revealed he retreated to a caravan in his native Cumbria to digest the World Cup disappointment, only to find it impossible to escape reminders.

“The first thing I did was come back to Leeds but then very quickly get back to Cumbria to see my mum and dad because they’re the ones who feel the pain more so than anyone,” he added.

“They took their caravan to Lorton and I sat in a caravan in Lorton and walked up fells in the Lake District. You’re physically getting away but you’re not really going anywhere. I walked up St Bees Head where I went to school and right at the top I bumped into this bloke and he said ‘You’re Stuart Lancaster, aren’t you?’.”

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England found Grand Slam success by hiring Australian Eddie Jones as Lancaster’s successor, and the man he replaced is also looking to the southern hemisphere for his next move.

“The lure of coaching Super Rugby and wanting to coach in the southern hemisphere is a big one for me,” he said. “You can’t create opportunities and you certainly can’t create yourself a job but the southern hemisphere would be a tremendous challenge from a personal point of view and it would be a great, great opportunity. But we’ll see. The Premiership, player development, wherever. I’m open-minded at the moment.

"You need a new project to get your teeth stuck into because if not you’re always dwelling on the old one. I don’t feel so burnt by the whole experience that I never want to coach again. I’m 46, I’ve hopefully got a long career in front of me. Hopefully something will come around the corner soon.”

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