Stuart Lancaster has been using his experience to help the American club sides
The inaugural PRO Rugby season is five weeks old
The tournament is hoping to grow with a Canadian presence likely for next year’s campaign
Ex-England head coach Stuart Lancaster has been using his experience and expertise to help develop the inaugural PRO Rugby season.
Lancaster has played a key mentoring role in helping it get off the ground. “It was great to be involved and support the inception and planning of the new pro league,” revealed Lancaster to ESPN.
“Doug Schoninger funded the league and I spoke to him a couple of times.
“I went across to San Diego and spent four days with him and the CEO Steve Lewis and the coaches who have been appointed to pass on my experiences of the evolution of the professional game in England and the things I learned as a player myself when the game went professional and [when I was] in charge of academies, at Yorkshire Carnegie and England.
“We talked a lot about the style of play and the rugby they should be working on to make the product more attractive alongside advice on referees and strength and conditioning.
“We also talked about different tactics and strategies over what it takes to win top-level games. We also talked about the product more attractive to the fans as well in America so they can enjoy the whole rugby experience.”
Now the five-team tournament is hoping to grow with a Canadian presence likely for next year’s campaign. Lancaster is confident this incarnation and attempt to bring professional rugby to the U.S. will not go the way of its predecessors.
“This league is only the start; it will grow,” Lancaster said.
“It is incredibly difficult to get a programme that is largely amateur into a professional status. The commitment everyone has made is fantastic the players have taken a risk, some have given up jobs to be full-time rugby players but I can really see this taking off in the USA and they can become a real force in the future and it is nice to have played a small part in it.”