Stuart Lancaster was appointed England Rugby Head Coach until the end of the 2015 Rugby World Cup, on March 29 this year. He has since guided England to second place in the 2012 RBS 6 Nations, with four wins from five games and to the historic achievement of three away victories for the first time. A tough Summer Tour of South Africa followed, and after defeat in the first two tests England battled to a draw in the third, settling up a tantalising return match in the 2012 QBE Internationals.
A level 5 qualified coach, Stuart had been the England Saxons Head Coach and the RFU Head of Elite Player Development, straddling all of the national age group and development sides, since 2007.
During his tenure as England Saxons Head Coach, the squad picked up three Churchill Cups on the way ('2008, 2010' and 2011), while England U20 reached four out of five Junior World Championship finals. Last year the squad secured an RBS 6 Nations Grand Slam and the U18 side boasts an impressive record since the start of the 2007-08 season.
Penrith-born Stuart, a former PE teacher, has galvanised his success that began with Leeds Carnegie. A flanker and captain in his playing days at Headingley from 1992-2000, he was the academy manager there from its inauguration in 2001 until 2005 and developed some of the brightest prospects in the game.
He was then appointed as Carnegie’s Director of Rugby and led them back to the Premiership following a title winning season in 2006-07. His latest accolade in July this year was receiving an honorary degree from Leeds Metropolitan University where he was a former undergraduate student. He was given a Doctorate in Sport for his significant contribution to the field of sport and coaching.
Stuart said: “This is a huge honour. Twenty years ago I was sitting where the graduating students are now and I have based my career on three principles – relationships, credibility and investing in yourself are the key to your success.
“There is no ABC of importance. Do what you say you are going to do and don’t wait for someone to give you the opportunities. Go and find them.”
As a player, Stuart first laced up his boots when ten at St Bees School in Cumbria where he was educated and became the first Leeds player to appear in a century of games for the club formed in 1991 from the amalgamation of Headingley and Roundhay.
High spots in his career that produced junior county honours at cricket feature the 2010 Churchill Cup in which the Saxons beat Russia (49-17), the USA (32-9) and Canada (38-18) to lift the title with a try ratio of 15 to four. Beating Otley to secure promotion to the Premiership with Leeds and guiding the Carnegie Academy to win T’owd Tin Pot, the Yorkshire Cup, against senior opposition stands highest on his club pedestal. Dating back to 1877-78, it is reputed to be the oldest rugby union competition in the United Kingdom.
Outside the game, Stuart’s wife Nina and kids Sophie and Dan share in his triumphs and interests and in his formative years, he says: “Peter Winterbottom was the player I most admired.” The accomplished and combative ‘Winters’, a fellow Headingley flanker known affectionately as the ‘Straw Man’, won 58 England caps and seven for the British & Irish Lions from 1982-93.
What is Stuart’s own philosophy about the game? “The score will take care of itself!”
Last updated: October 25, 2012