Stuart Lancaster explains how Leo Cullen got him to come to Leinster

Ex-England head coach takes on role with province

Stuart Lancaster, Leo Cullen, Leinster

Head coach Leo Cullen with new senior coach Stuart Lancaster ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Former England head coach Stuart Lancaster says Leinster chief Leo Cullen played a key role in influencing his decision to join Leinster.

Lancaster moves to the province as a senior coach until the end of the season.

His role will see him work under Cullen, with an input on both defence and attack.

Lancaster has revealed that it was Cullen who first made contact and asked him to replace influential defence coach Kurt McQuilkin.

"Leo gave me a ring and said 'would you be interested in coming over and having a chat about a potential role?' Obviously it's a great opportunity for me to come and have a look and see what was on offer. The more we talked, the more it became clear that with Kurt going, there was an opportunity to come in. And certainly from my point of view, I'm more than happy to work underneath Leo and I don't know the club, I don't know the environment, I don't know the relationships and everything. It suits me down to the ground to get into coaching again," he said. 

Lancaster has also defended his credentials as a defensive coach.

"I think there's a perception in England that I didn't do any coaching. Andy Farrell clearly led on the defence when I was with England. But I was coaching defence not less than three weeks ago in New Zealand. So I've got my own philosophy. Clearly it's been influenced a lot by people I've worked under as defence coaches. I watched Mike Ford when he was England defence coach, worked with Andy Farrell latterly, worked with Paul Gustard in Argentina. I understand a lot about defence," he said.