Leinster Rugby can this afternoon confirm that senior coach, Stuart Lancaster, will leave the club at the end of the season.
Lancaster, who has been at the club since September 2016, will leave Leinster to join Racing 92 in the TOP14.
Prior to joining Leinster Rugby in 2016, Lancaster had been head coach of the English senior team from 2011 to 2015, and then worked on a consultancy basis with the Atlanta Falcons, with British Cycling, with the English FA and with Counties Manukau in the Mitre 10 Cup in New Zealand.
He joined Leinster Rugby after the departure of Kurt McQuilkin.
Commenting on the news this afternoon, Leinster Rugby head coach Leo Cullen said, “Stuart has been a brilliant asset to Leinster Rugby since he joined us in 2016. 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.
“I think there has always been a realisation that Stuart would move on to a new challenge at some stage. For that reason, we feel fortunate to have had him here for as long as we have, and we wish him, his wife Nina and kids Sophie and Dan the very best in their next adventure with Racing 92 in France.
“We have had some great days together and, on a personal level, Stu has been an incredible support. We will all miss him but I am very excited and enthused to go on and try to achieve further success this season as a group.”
Speaking to leinsterrugby.ie, Lancaster said, “I will be eternally grateful to Leo, Mick and Guy and the whole Leinster organisation for the opportunity they gave me and my family back in 2016.
“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.
“In the meantime, I really want to give everything to the whole of Leinster Rugby and the supporters in the next eight months as I feel we have more to come as we drive towards the exciting challenge ahead both in the URC and in Europe.”
Lancaster will see out the remainder of the season with Leinster Rugby, bringing him to the end of his current contract.
During his time at the club and as part of the senior coaching team, Leinster have to date won the Heineken Champions Cup in 2018 and four Guinness PRO12/14 titles.
You can watch Stuart Lancaster’s interview with Leinster Rugby TV here:
Images & Content from Leinster Rugby
All You Need To Know | Barbarians Double-Header
The Munster Men’s and Women’s team will be in action this weekend in a historic double-header against the Barbarians.
Find out all you need to know ahead of the games below.
There will be a minute’s applause for Greig Oliver ahead of the men’s game following his tragic passing in July. Hawick RFC posted a lovely piece on a commemorative event that was recently held at the club here. Read our tribute to Greig here.
The women’s game kicks off at 2pm and the men’s game starts at 4.30pm.
Tickets are available to purchase here from €20 for adults and €10 for juniors right up until kick off.
The best value tickets are the Family Packs of four tickets for just €40 which include 2 Adults & 2 Juniors tickets.
Live on Access Munster, brought to you by Pinergy – see full details here.
Did you know?
The URC trophy will be on display for photos behind the North Terrace.
The first-ever Barbarians Women’s game was played against Munster at Thomond Park in 2017.
The Munster men’s team have never faced the Barbarians.
All four sides will be named before lunchtime on Friday.
Hear from Munster Women’s Head Coach Niamh Briggs and Men’s Head Coach Graham Rowntree ahead of the games.
Tickets for all Munster men’s home game for the 2023/24 campaign are available here.
Images & Content from Munster Rugby
Cardiff announce signing of new fly-half
Cardiff Rugby have added further depth to their fly-half resources with the signing of former Wales Under-20s star Arwel Robson.
The 26-year-old arrives from Cornish Pirates where he has spent the last two seasons after leaving Dragons RFC in 2021.
Robson has already linked up with the first-team squad and is relishing the opportunity that lies ahead at Cardiff Arms Park.
He said: “I’m incredibly excited to make the move to Cardiff. It’s an honour to be able to play at the Arms Park and I can’t wait to get the chance to run out here for the first time.
“I grew up on the terraces of the Arms Park, in a family of Cardiff season ticket holders and I was a ball boy for years so it is a club that means a huge amount to me and my family.
“After speaking to Matt about the style of play he wants to utilise, I’m confident it will really suit me and also continue to bring my game on.
“I’m very grateful to everyone at Cornish Pirates for the opportunity and support they gave me in the past few years.
“I’ve played a lot of rugby down there and feel I am returning to Wales a better player and I am looking forward to continuing my development at the Arms Park.
“Cardiff also have a reputation for developing talent and the progression of players from the academy right through to the senior national team is testament to that.
“Now I am just looking forward to getting on the training pitch and competing for game-time.”
Robson will fight for a place at fly-half alongside fellow new signing Tinus de Beer, Ben Thomas and academy duo Harrison James and Harri Wilde.
He is the fourth signing this summer, following de Beer, Ciaran Parker and Rhys Litterick, and head coach Matt Sherratt is pleased to add to his fly-half resources.
Sherratt said: “We are delighted have have signed Arwel for this season. He has a good skill set, will challenge the line and having regular game time has improved his in game management.
“He has played a significant amount with Cornish Pirates over the past two seasons which is a sign of a player who was willing to take himself out of his comfort zone to go to a new club and get regular game time. It shows he is driven.
“Added to that he has a connection with the region and a point to prove in the Welsh professional game. He gives us a bit more depth at 10 and has slotted in well to training.”
Spingbok loosehead joins DHL Stormers ranks
Loosehead prop Lizo Gqoboka has joined the DHL Stormers squad ahead of the 2023/24 season.
The 33-year-old Springbok front row forward has made the move to Cape Town and brings considerable experience with him.
Gqoboka only took up the game at the age of 19 and within two years had already secured his first professional contract. He has accumulated over 150 senior caps since then and made his Springbok debut in 2019.
DHL Stormers Head Coach John Dobson said that Gqoboka’s proven track record means he will be ready to hit the ground running when the season gets underway.
“Lizo is an experienced player who would be a valuable asset for any squad in what is an important position.
“He has already settled in well here in the pre-season and we are all looking forward to seeing what he can do when the season gets underway,” he said.
Gqoboka said that having played against the DHL Stormers many times in his career, he is excited about feeling the support of the Faithful.
“This is a great team with some incredible supporters and I can’t wait to run out in the blue and white jersey and give my all.
“My family and I have felt at home right away here, my teammates and the coaches have been so welcoming and I want to repay that when I get the chance to take the field as a DHL Stormer,” he said.