The 'profound' Leinster verdict on the departing Stuart Lancaster
Jamison Gibson-Park says Stuart Lancaster will likely be dearly missed as Leinster bid to provide the former England head coach a becoming send-off by clinching European glory. Lancaster, who has served as a senior coach beneath Leo Cullen since 2016, will depart the Irish province at the finish of the season to develop into director of rugby at French membership Racing 92.
Leinster’s ultimate shot at lifting silverware earlier than the 53-year-old heads to Paris comes on Saturday night after they take on La Rochelle in the ultimate of the Heineken Champions Cup in Dublin.
“He has had a profound impact on my profession – and I’m most likely not alone in saying that – on the subject of what he has completed right here at Leinster,” scrum-half Gibson-Park mentioned of Lancaster, who will likely be changed by South Africa head coach Jacques Nienaber.
“It’s been unimaginable actually. The turnaround from the begin, the consistency all through, his mindset have simply been superior. For me, it personally modified numerous issues in my outlook on rugby.
“That’s throughout the board with the remainder of the crew as properly. He has had a reasonably huge influence on me and we are going to miss him dearly. Hopefully, he goes properly over in Racing.”
Leinster have an opportunity for redemption in opposition to La Rochelle 12 months on from a painful last-gasp 24-21 loss to the French aspect in the 2022 ultimate in Marseille. Having suffered a semi-final exit to rivals Munster in the URC final weekend, Cullen’s males will try to finish the marketing campaign on a excessive at the Aviva Stadium forward of a handful of notable departures.
Along with the imminent exit of Lancaster, who contributed to Champions Cup success in 2018 and 4 URC titles, long-serving wing Dave Kearney and injured captain Johnny Sexton are heading in the direction of retirement.
Requested if giving Englishman Lancaster a trophy to depart with was an additional incentive, Gibson-Park mentioned: “I don’t suppose he would count on us to consider it that method however clearly Stu is transferring on and some different guys are ending up as properly.
“It’s clearly an incentive however there’s a efficiency it’s a must to get proper earlier than you begin worrying about that stuff. We will likely be targeted on that however certain there are some guys that deserve a reasonably good send-off.”
Leinster are hoping to equal Toulouse’s report of 5 Champions Cup titles by exacting revenge on Ronan O’Gara’s aspect. Eire worldwide Gibson-Park has returned to the beginning XV alongside a number of different star names after head coach Cullen opted to relaxation them for final weekend’s shock 16-15 defeat by Munster.
“It’s finals rugby and it’s win or die,” he mentioned. “Small margins. We’ll simply be chasing a efficiency and that’s the most vital factor for us, to try to get that proper. Clearly, it’s very powerful with a crew nearly as good as they’re so it’ll be difficult however we’re trying ahead to it.”
Requested if Leinster will alter their type resulting from the formidable dimension of the opposition’s pack, he added: “We received’t be altering issues drastically, I don’t suppose. However you’ve got to be good round the way you assault them so we are going to see how we go.”