Published: 12:08 | 6/4/21

Toner hails Lancaster influence

Leinster legend Devin Toner has praised the positive influence that assistant head coach Sturart Lancaster has had on the squad since his arrival at the RDS in 2016.

Speaking to ex-Scotland international Jim Hamilton on the RugbyPass All Access podcast, Leinster's record cap holder referred to the former England head coach as the brains behind the province's remarkable success in recent years.

Since his arrival to join head coach Leo Cullen's team, Leinster have won four PRO14 titles and a Champions Cup and are considered one of the strongest teams in Europe. 

"Stu is the rugby brain behind it all," Toner said. "His knowledge of the game and he really loves seeing the younger guys getting better.

‘He talks about it all the time. He’s always learning. He’s always telling us who he’s been talking to and who he’s been learning from and he’s really good at passing it on to the next coach.

‘He’s phenomenal in the amount of work he gets through, in the analysis he goes through. He’s been absolutely phenomenal for this club."

Toner feels that Lancaster is better suited to club rather than international coaching as he gets the time he needs to get his ideas across to the players.

He left his position as England head coach following a poor showing at the 2016 World Cup, but has thrived at Leinster since his arrival and recently put pen to paper on a two-year contract extension that will keep him at the RDS until the end of the 2022-23 campaign. 

"With Leinster he’s in with us everyday. With England, they have a couple of camps. He wouldn’t have enough time to implement what he wants to implement," Toner added.

"For Leinster he was able to come in on the ground floor and work with the young guys everyday and work with us everyday and get his philosophies in place. It’s hard in a national set-up to do that."

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