Stuart Lancaster (rugby union)

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Stuart Lancaster
Stuart Lancaster 2013 (cropped).jpg
Date of birth (1969-10-09) 9 October 1969 (age 45)
Place of birth Penrith, Cumbria, England
School St. Bees School
University Carnegie College
Occupation(s) Teacher
Rugby union career
Playing career
Position Hooker / Flanker
Professional / senior clubs
Years Club / team Caps (points)
Wakefield RFC
Headingley RFC
Leeds RUFC
Leeds Tykes

correct as of 28 June 2015.
National team(s)
Years Club / team Caps (points)
Scotland Students
Scotland U19
Scotland U21
correct as of 28 June 2015.
Coaching career
Years Club / team
Leeds RFU Academy
Leeds Carnegie (Director of Rugby)
England (Elite Rugby Director)
England Saxons
correct as of 28 June 2015.

Stuart Lancaster (born 9 October 1969) is the Head Coach of the English national rugby union team, a position he has held since 2011, of which he is contracted as until 2020.[1]

Rugby career[edit]


Born in Penrith, Cumbria, Lancaster grew up in the village of Culgaith, where he was sent to St. Bees School. He started his rugby playing career at the school playing for the 1st XV. He started in the front row as a hooker, although at the age of 15, he moved to flanker where he played his best rugby. After leaving school in 1988, Lancaster headed to Carnegie College in Leeds to train as a PE Teacher, while continuing his rugby career playing for Wakefield RFC. After qualifying in 1991, he began teaching at Kettlethorpe High School and started playing for Headingley RFC. When Headingley merged with Roundhay RUFC, Lancaster joined the newly formed team Leeds RFU, where he would plain the remainder of career. In 1998, he took a substantial leave from teaching to become a full-time professional rugby player with Leeds Tykes, of which he became the first Leeds player to play a century of games since the amalgamation of Headingley and Roundhay, and was named captain of newly branded team.

Though Lancaster has not represented a country, through his Scottish mother, Lancaster played for Scotland Students, Scotland U19 and Scotland U21. He was expected to make his full international debut for the Scotland senior side, but at the age of 30, Lancaster was forced to retire through injury. A teenage Tom Palmer, who would later play under Lancaster, hit a tackle bag that Stuart was holding, tearing his hamstring off the bone completely.[2][3]


Wakefield RFC


After retiring in 2000, Lancaster ran the Leeds RFU Academy for five years from 2001. However, in 2006 after Leeds Tykes were relegated after the 2005–06 Guinness Premiership season, Lancaster replaced Phil Davies as head coach before the 2006–07 National Division One.[4] In Lancaster's debut season, he led Leeds to promotion following with 122 points.[5] The victory was with out high profile plays like Justin Marshall and Iain Balshaw. Now back in the top flight English rugby competition, Leeds Carnegie - the re-named title of the club - remained bottom of the table for the whole season, only getting 2 victories from 22, and were relegated at the end of the 2007–08 Guinness Premiership season. Lancaster later departed the club after being appointed RFU's Elite Rugby Director.[6]

Appointment to the England RFU[edit]

Rob Andrew, the RFU's Elite Rugby Director announced Lancaster's appointment on 6 May 2008 stating "This is a very important appointment for the department. Stuart brings Guinness Premiership coaching experience and is also one of the coaches who has achieved the Elite Coaching Level 5 qualification." The move was taken poorly by the owners of Leeds Carnegie the club where he was Director of Rugby before joining the RFU, who felt they should have been contacted regarding the appointment.[7]

Part of Lancaster's role was to develop younger players, which saw Lancaster coach the England Saxons during the 2008 Churchill Cup winning campaign. This included a 62–10 win over the United States and a 34–12 win over the Ireland Wolfhounds, to set up a Cup Final against Scotland A, of which England Saxons won 36–19.[8][9] Lancaster returned to role for the 2010 Churchill Cup, which saw the Saxons win all three of their matches including the cup final against Canada, winning 38–18.[10] He oversaw the Saxons sixth winning campaign during the 2011 Churchill Cup, which for the first time England hosted. The winning campaign included a record 87–8 victory over the United States and a 41–14 win over Tonga. They beat Canada for a second consecutive year, winning 37–6 at the Sixways Stadium in Worcester.[11] In addition to the England Saxons, Lancaster also oversaw an impressive period for the England U20's team, which included a grand slam victory during the 2011 Six Nations Under 20s Championship and three finals berths in the IRB Junior World Championship between 2008 and 2011.

England Head Coach[edit]

Following the 2011 Rugby World Cup, England head coach Martin Johnson resigned from his post, with the RFU appointing Lancaster as interim head coach for the 2012 Six Nations Championship, while the RFU continue to search for a full-time coach, with the likes of South African Nick Mallett and New Zealander Wayne Smith expressing interest in the vacant job.[12][13]

On 29 March 2012, following a successful Six Nations campaign, Lancaster was appointed as the English head coach, and will keep his assistants Graham Rowntree and Andy Farrell.[14]

Lancaster's first match in charge as the official head coach came on 27 May 2012 against the Barbarians, which saw England win 57–26, though this was not a test match. However the 9 June clash against South Africa was Lancaster's first test match in charge, which saw the Springboks win 22–17.[15] A week later England lost again 36–27, however on 23 June 2015, England managed a 14–14 draw, their first draw since 8 December 1906.

During the 2012 end-of-year rugby union internationals, Lancaster led the English to a 38–21 victory over the World Cup Champions New Zealand, which included 3 tries in a space of 10 minutes.[16] Despite beating the number 1 ranked team in the world, Lancaster did lose to Australia 20–14 and South Africa 15–16, which proved costly, as England on 1 December 2012, were drawn in Pool A for the World Cup, along side Australia and Wales.

During 2013, Lancaster led England to second in the Six Nations for a second consecutive year. England could have claimed their first grand slam since 2003, however a record 30–3 loss to Wales in the final week at the Millennium Stadium, saw Wales claim the Six Nations title.[17] Though Lancaster did lead the team to a 12–6 victory over Ireland in Ireland, which was the first since England's 2003 Grand Slam triumph. Lancaster later led England to a 2–0 series victory over Argentina, which included a 32–3 and 51–26 victories on Argentine soil. On 2 November 2013, Lancaster reclaimed the Cook Cup after leading England to a 20–13 victory over Australia, before beating Argentina for a third consecutive time in on year 31–12. England's 2013 Autumn campaign ended with a 22–30 loss to the All Blacks, where they retained the Hillary Shield after losing it in 2012.

In 2014, England finished second for a third time under Lancaster, with the only loss coming against France, 26–24, in the opening week. England did however record a 20–0 victory over Scotland in Edinburgh, which was the first time Scotland had failed to score any points against England since 1978. During England's 2014 tour to New Zealand, Lancaster narrowly lost to the All Blacks 20–15 at Eden Park, of which the English team did not feature any Saracens or Northampton Saints players due to the 2013–14 Aviva Premiership final a week before the opening test. The second test, which saw Saracens and Saints players return to the starting XV, saw England lose by a single point, losing 28–27 in Dunedin. However, the final test saw New Zealand win 36–13 to claim a 3–0 series win over England. England started their 2014 Autumn campaign with a fourth consecutive match against the World Champions, which saw New Zealand win 24–21, while the following week saw England lose their fifth consecutive match, their worst run of defeats since their 7 consecutive losses in 2006, losing 31–28 to South Africa. The losing streak ended on 22 November, when England beat Samoa 28–9, while on the 29 November, Lancaster led England against Australia to win 26–17.

During the 2015 Six Nations Championship, Lancaster lead England to a fourth consecutive second positioning in Six Nations, although Lancaster was applauded for his coaching during the opening match against Wales, which saw England without many first choice players due to injury beat a first choice Welsh side 21–16 in Cardiff.[18] Despite this, England lost only one match, losing to eventual champions Ireland, 19–9 in Dublin.

Lancaster's tenure as Head Coach has been widely praised for the overhaul and reformation of England's squad culture, which had resulted in much media attention to the team's off-field antics. Matters had come to a head during the 2011 Rugby World Cup, which immediately preceded Lancaster's reign. Lancaster has demanded that England's players be good role models, and as such has excluded players from various squads. Examples of this policy include Danny Care's exclusion from 2012 Six Nations Championship,[19] and Manu Tuilagi's omission from England's 2015 Rugby World Cup preparations.[20]

International Matches as Head Coach[edit]

Note: World Rankings Column shows the World Ranking England was placed at on the following Monday after each of their matches

Record by country[edit]
Opponent Played Won Drawn Lost Win ratio (%) For Against
 Argentina 3 3 0 0 1000 114 41
 Australia 3 2 0 1 67 60 50
 Fiji 1 1 0 0 1000 54 12
 France 6 4 0 2 67 165 135
 Ireland 4 3 0 1 75 64 44
 Italy 4 4 0 0 1000 136 54
 New Zealand 6 1 0 5 17 136 159
 Samoa 1 1 0 0 1000 28 9
 Scotland 4 4 0 0 1000 96 37
 South Africa 5 0 1 4 00 101 119
 Wales 4 2 0 2 50 66 83
TOTAL 41 25 1 15 61 1019 743

Other honors[edit]

Leeds Carnegie

England Saxons


External links[edit]