63 views

Stuart Lancaster is a sponge of a rugby man and will thrive in new Leinster role, says former England centre Will Greenwood

Ross McLean
Follow Ross
RUGBYU-WC-2015-ENG-PRESSER
Lancaster role as England head coach came to an end in November (Source: Getty)

Former England centre Will Greenwood has backed Stuart Lancaster to prove a huge success in his new role after being appointed as a senior coach at Pro12 side Leinster for the remainder of the season.

Lancaster left his role as England head coach in November 2015 after a dismal World Cup campaign which saw the Red Rose become the first ever home nation to fail to qualify for the knockout stage.

He will now work alongside Leinster head coach Leo Cullen and his assistants Girvan Dempsey and John Fogarty, having held short-term roles with NFL side Atlanta Falcons, British Cycling and the Football Association since his departure from England.

“What you could absolutely say is he has learned so much from the good and the bad times,” said Greenwood. “He has been around the world and studied and he is a sponge of a rugby man and he is a good man. At Leinster currently, with leo Cullen and Girvan Dempsey, they are also good men but relatively inexperienced at the highest level.

“It’s clear that Stuart Lancaster comes in there to plug that experience gap that two good men, and John Fogarty, are missing. I think it’s great for both club and the individual.”

Greenwood also believes that Lancaster, 46, deserves credit for blooding a number of young players during his four-year England tenure now form the bedrock of Eddie Jones’s side, which has already won a Grand Slam and whitewashed Australia Down Under.

“There will be detractors out there who will simply point to the 2015 Rugby World Cup and the fact England did not get out of their group as hosts but that would be to look beyond the many huge positives he began to put into place,” added Greenwood.

“Eddie Jones inherited a young squad with an average age of 24 or 25, all with about 35, 40 caps that Stuart Lancaster had the gumption to blood early.”