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'File has made good progress lately': Lancaster linked with Top 14

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

Ex-England boss Stuart Lancaster has been linked with a switch next season from Irish club Leinster to the Top 14. With his English national team knocked out of their home World Cup three games into their four-match pool schedule in 2015, the coach lost his job to Eddie Jones and it took a while for him to re-emerge in Dublin in September 2016.

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His involvement across the Irish Sea as a senior coach working under Leo Cullen has helped Leinster to win the 2018 Heineken Champions Cup and four consecutive league titles between 2018 and 2021.

The 52-year-old has constantly been linked with a return to the Gallagher Premiership but no role there has ever really taken his fancy. He signed his last Leinster extension in March 2021, a two-year deal taking him through to summer 2023 in Ireland, and it is now being reported that Lancaster will bypass the English league altogether when it comes to deciding his next role.

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A shake-up at Racing 92 has long been hinted with the director of rugby Laurent Travers expected to move upstairs at the end of the 2022/23 campaign after nine years at the helm and owner Jacky Lorenzetti tipped to be less hands-on at the forefront of operations.

In other words, a fresh voice is wanted and Midi Olympique has reported that the Racing-Lancaster link has made good progress recently, strengthening the speculation that the Englishman will be in charge of the Parisians for 2023/24 – an interesting time to join given that the 2023 World Cup kicks off in Paris in twelve months’ time.

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The French rugby newspaper report read: “Jacky Lorenzetti continues his work with regard to the governance of the club. He has never hidden his desire to ‘hand over’ and at the twilight of the 2022-2023 season, Laurent Travers, at the helm of the Racing 92 sports project for nine years, should take a step back from the field and become probably chairman of the management board of the Hauts-de-Seine stable.

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“Lorenzetti, on his side, would take on the function of ‘president of the supervisory board’. Therefore, the question of the succession of the current director general of rugby is at the centre of concern.

“For long weeks, the name of the Englishman Stuart Lancaster has been coming up with insistence. Former coach of the XV de la Rose and considered one of the most advanced technicians, his work at the helm of Leinster since 2016 (he won the Champions Cup in 2018) is recognised.

“According to our information, the file has made good progress lately and the hypothesis of seeing Lancaster lead the Racing staff during the coming season has taken on even more thickness.”

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