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'You'd like to be involved' | Lancaster doesn't rule out Lions coaching role


Leinster senior coach Stuart Lancaster is open to a coaching with the Lions but has yet to be offered a role by Warren Gatland.

Gatland is in charge once again as he brings his best selection of British and Irish players to South Africa to take on the world champions next year.

The Lions head coach revealed last week that he is a big admirer of Lancaster and had called him up for some advice regarding some Irish players ahead of the last tour in his native New Zealand.

"We met before the last tour and he spoke to me about his opinions on the Leinster players and the Irish players and gave me an insight into them and I appreciated that. So, look, he’s definitely one person that I’ve spoken to," said Gatland.

The Blues coach was speaking to the media this afternoon and was keen to point out that Gatland had not linked him directly to a role on his coaching staff.

"Just to clarify, I don't think he actually mentioned me as a potential Lions coach," said Lancaster.

"I think he mentioned that we had a conversation, which we did, but no, no I can end the speculation, he didn't offer me a coaching role with the Lions, so we'll put that one to bed.

"But we did catch up. I've met him, obviously I know him well, coached England against Wales since 2012."

After coaching with English club, Leeds, Lancaster moved into the England international set-up, working with the Saxons before landing the senior head coach position which he held for four years.

The 50-year-old joined Leinster in 2016 and along with Leo Cullen and the rest of the staff has helped the Blues win two PRO14 titles and the Heineken Champions Cup.

"Yeah we had a catch-up but I think there's a long way to go on that," added Lancaster when asked if coaching with the Lions would interest him.

"I think if you asked any coach in the northern hemisphere would they like to be involved, of course, you'd like to be involved because it's coaching at the highest level against the team that are the current world champions.

"But, as I say, I think there's a lot to play out on that and he's got to come back from New Zealand and I think he said on the podcast, speak to the home unions CEOs because obviously there's a great group of international coaches who would all be great candidates I'm sure."

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British And Irish Lions Heineken Champions Cup Leinster Rugby Lions Pro14 Stuart Lancaster Warren Gatland

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