Lions chief says Stuart Lancaster is candidate for head coach role
Stuart Lancaster has “a lot of the credentials” to coach the British & Irish Lions says Lions chief executive John Feehan
During his four years in charge England never won the Six Nations
Lancaster parted company with the RFU last year after England’s disappointing Rugby World Cup campaign
Frontrunners Warren Gatland and Joe Schmidt both distanced themselves from the position yesterday
The chief executive of the British and Irish Lions has described Stuart Lancaster as having “a lot of the credentials” required to be the head coach for the tour to New Zealand in 2017.
Lancaster, linked with a summer move to Aviva Premiership side Harlequins, is currently available after being replaced by Eddie Jones and would be a long shot for a role which traditionally goes to a current Six Nations head coach.
Lions chief executive John Feehan admitted: “He has a lot of the credentials you could potentially look for in a Lions coach. I am certainly not ruling anybody out at this stage.
“I am certainly not ruling anyone out at this stage. We have to keep an open mind and see who is available to us, who wishes to do it and whether they fit the criteria set by ourselves.”
GATLAND WORRIED ABOUT THE SCHEDULE
The Lions are on a high after Warren Gatland famously put a halt to a 16-year losing streak by leading them to a series victory over Australia in 2013.
But a look at the schedule set for the tour of New Zealand, where Sir Clive Woodward’s Lions were Black-washed comfortably 3-0 in 2005, does not have him rushing to be reappointed in the role.
“Have you seen the schedule?” said the Wales boss. “Going to New Zealand and you play three Tests, five Super Rugby teams and the NZ Maori, and you try and win there? With no preparation? Look, it’s not unwinnable, but it is very, very tough.”
SCHMIDT NOT IN THE RUNNING
Schmidt, who has coached Ireland to back-to-back Six Nations titles in 2014 and 2015, says he cannot currently be considered for the job due to his contract not allowing him to take the year-long sabbatical the Lions require.
“If someone is completely precluded contractually, those things can always be discussed,” said Feehan. “We are aware of the contractual position of the coaches.”