Stuart Lancaster Responds To Scathing Comments By Former England Chief
“I have to say I didn’t see this coming”
Stuart Lancaster has responded to the scathing comments made about him by former RFU director of professional rugby Rob Andrew in his new book, The Game of My Life: Battling for England in the Professional Era.
In a extract released yesterday, Andrew pulls no punches in placing all the blame on Lancaster for England’s woeful 2015 Rugby World Cup campaign. Lancaster, who is now with Leinster, says Andrew is entitled to his own opinion.
“Everybody’s entitled to an opinion, Rob has given his and that’s his right I guess,” Lancaster said.
“You learn a lot about about yourself as a national team coach and you learn a lot about other people as well. We’ll leave it at that.”
He did however add that he was unaware a book was being written, and didn’t see the comments coming.
“I have to say I didn’t see this coming, I wasn’t aware that anything was being written,” he said.
“But I guess it’s part and parcel of being a national coach, you know, when you take the responsibility you’re accountable when it doesn’t go well. I think I did that from the start and I will still continue to do that.”
“It’s not for me to comment on whether it’s the wrong thing to do. I was certainly unaware it was coming up, but people are motivated in different ways,”
While Lancaster refused to be drawn further on the comments when probed, he did hint that his story would eventually come out, and defended some of the good work he did with England.
“I’m not going to go there, I’ve got my thoughts and I’ll keep them to myself for the time being,” he replied.
“What I want to try and do is pass on what I’ve learnt as a coach to other coaches, to teachers, to people in leadership positions and also more importantly to people in Ireland and to Leinster. I don’t think it will do anyone any good by going back all over that now.”
“I think coaching England, I coached over 50 international games which I think puts me second most or around there — Sir Clive Woodward has obviously got the most experience,”
“So, it does give you a lot of experience. You go through good times, you have great wins and great moments. You go through tough times as well, you learn a lot about yourself and other people as well.
“The down-time in between coaching England and coming to Leinster allowed me to go and visit other environments, to visit other international coaches who have been through the sort of experiences that I’ve been through and learnt from them.
“You package all of that together and you bring it to Leinster. So I probably underestimated the development that I went through, not just coaching England but all of those years preceding that as well. I was involved at all levels of the game from being a teacher, right through to being a national coach.”