Former England coach Stuart Lancaster has paid a brief but ‘highly productive’ visit to the Stormers to exchange ideas, writes CRAIG LEWIS.
Lancaster resigned his England post after they became the first host nation to be eliminated in the pool stage of the World Cup, and was replaced by Eddie Jones.
After Lancaster was seen at the Stormers' high performance centre this week, it led to some speculation that he could be set for a permanent role in the coaching set-up, but director of rugby Gert Smal confirmed to SARugbymag.co.za that it was just a short-term visit that had been made on his request.
‘Stuart’s been on a tour, and has visited various other sports teams in other parts of the world. So when he asked to come and spend a bit of time here, it was something we were very keen to accept. He’s obviously got a lot of experience, and plenty of expertise to share. He’s just been at the World Cup with England, and sometimes you have good experiences and bad experiences, but it’s all about learning.’
Lancaster was invited to watch a practice session and then conducted a presentation to all the Western Province coaches, where ideas were exchanged.
‘By all accounts it was a highly productive interaction and his input was fantastic. I think it’s really important to keep stimulating our coaches, and sometimes I think there isn’t enough of that,’ Smal commented.
‘This sort of thing is something I feel is very important, and we’ll look to continue doing going forward. [Bok assistant coach] Johann van Graan will be coming to visit soon, and it’s just good to be able to draw on the knowledge of such people and stimulate the system.’
The Stormers recently concluded a training camp in Wilderness and George, and will kick off their Vodacom Super Rugby campaign against the Vodacom Bulls on 27 February.