Lancaster to leave Leinster and join Racing 92

FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - European Champions Cup Final - Leinster Rugby v Saracens - St James' Park, Newcastle, Britain - May 11, 2019 Leinster senior coach Stuart Lancaster during the warm up before the match Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith

(Reuters) – Leinster’s senior coach Stuart Lancaster will leave the club after seven seasons and join TOP14 side Racing 92 at the end of the current campaign, Leinster Rugby announced on Monday.

Lancaster, who previously coached England before joining the club in 2016, will see out his contract at the Irish club where he was instrumental in their Champions Cup win in 2018 as well as four United Rugby Championship titles.

“I will be eternally grateful to… the whole Leinster organisation for the opportunity they gave me and my family back in 2016,” Lancaster said in a statement.

“Initially it was for just one season and here I am entering my seventh and that is a reflection on all the players past and present I have worked with and the people of Leinster and Ireland who have made me and my family feel so welcome.

“I have always wanted to challenge myself as a coach in different ways and the opportunity to coach in France at a club like Racing 92 is an exciting one and I will look forward to that challenge when it comes.”

Lancaster coached England for four years before taking over from Kurt McQuilkin at Leinster. Head coach Leo Cullen said they had expected Lancaster to move on and felt ‘fortunate’ to have had him at the club for so many years.

“Stuart has been a brilliant asset to Leinster Rugby since he joined us in 2016,” Cullen said.

“He has helped us to grow at all levels, both through his work with the senior team and his willingness to get involved with underage teams as well as clubs around the province, where he is always so generous with his time.”

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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