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New Leinster recruit Stuart Lancaster is ready to get back into coaching after a 'tough nine months'.
Lancaster's four-year reign as England head coach came to an end in disappointing circumstances when he stepped down after the team failed to get out of their pool at the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
Since leaving his position with the RFU, Lancaster has had short term roles with the Atlanta Falcons, with British Cycling's world-class performance programme and the English FA, while he has also spent time working with Counties Manukau in the Mitre 10 Cup in New Zealand.
He moves to Leinster to fill the void left by defence coach Kurt McQuilken's return to New Zealand for personal reasons and the 46-year-old is ready to embrace the challenge that awaits him.
"It's been a tough nine months. You're out of the game... but equally when I look back over these nine months, I have done some unbelievable things," Lancaster told a media conference on Monday.
"A lot of coaches have reached out to me and given me an opportunity to come and see their environment so my experience of the last nine months has helped broaden me as a coach.
"I think I'll come back a better coach now and hopefully give that to Leinster rugby."
Lancaster spent time with the Leeds Academy and Leeds Carnegie before being appointed as the RFU's Head of Elite Player Development in 2008 and was the surprise choice to succeed Martin Johnson as England Head Coach in 2011.
He will effectively replace McQuilkin as defence coach and he is confident he is qualified to take on the position.
"If you're talking about experience in coaching, I've coached about every part of the game. I had a teaching career until I was 30 but I've been coaching now for 16 years,” he explained.
"I think there's a perception in England that I probably didn't do any coaching. Andy Farrell clearly led on the defence when I was with England, but I was coaching defence not less than three weeks ago in New Zealand.
“At Counties Manukau, my main remit was to coach defence.
"So, I've got my own philosophy and clearly it's been influenced by people I've worked under as defence coaches, I watched Mike Ford when he was defence coach; I worked with Andy Farrell laterally, I worked with Paul Gustard in Argentina when he came with me.
“So, I think I understand a lot about defence, but equally I've a reasonably broad range and hopefully I can influence some of the attacking stuff as well and also reach down into the academy.
“I've come from a player development background, my role in England was not just as head coach but also as head of elite player development and I'd like to think I can offer Leinster something in that regard as well.”
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