Leeds chief to replace O’Shea

LEEDS Carnegie director of rugby Stuart Lancaster has been appointed England’s new head of elite player development, replacing former Irish star Conor O’Shea.

Lancaster will end a 16-year association with Leeds on June 1 to replace O’Shea, who is leaving the Rugby Football Union for a position with the English Institute of Sport.

The RFU clarified that Lancaster’s appointment does not affect the job offer of Academy head coach made to Brian Ashton when he was replaced as England supremo by Martin Johnson.

Elite rugby director Rob Andrew said: “The only change we have made is to remove Conor’s old job title of director of the national academy and replace it with head of elite player development so it more accurately reflects the role.

“Stuart will be directly responsible for all the administration and elite player development processes, which help identify young talent from the age of 13.

“He will also be responsible for the overall management of the U18, U20, Sevens and England Saxons representative sides, as well as bringing a wealth of coaching experience across the programme.

“Stuart’s appointment does not affect the offer to Brian Ashton as head coach of the National Academy, and these discussions are continuing.”

As director of rugby, Lancaster won promotion to the Guinness Premiership in 2007 but could not keep Leeds in the top flight this season.

Lancaster’s final game in charge will be against Wasps on Saturday.

RTÉ rugby analyst O’Shea has spoken of his excitement at the prospect of taking on the role at the English Institute of Sport (EIS). “I’m looking forward to learning more about the job and meeting the people within the EIS and those from the (other) sports as well,” he said.


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