Leo Cullen and Stuart Lancaster have confirmed extensions to their contracts at Leinster Rugby.
The news was formally announced at an exclusive event for Season Ticket Holders hosted by the Official Leinster Supporters Club at the InterContinental Dublin last night, a positive for both the most loyal fans and one of the Province’s key sponsors.
Cullen, who won 221 caps for Leinster and was captain of three Heineken Cup-winning squads, was appointed Head Coach at the start of the 2015/16 season and will now lead the province for a further two seasons at least, until the end of the 2020/21 season.
“Leo’s skills as a player and as a captain have been well celebrated over the years and rightly so,” said Leinster Rugby CEO Mick Dawson speaking to the Official Leinster website.
“Over the last four seasons, he has continued to build on that legacy and has added considerable coaching credentials to his list of achievements. Not only did Leo oversee the great double success of last season, but he also oversaw the rebuilding of the playing squad after a number of high profile retirements and the recruitment of the new coaching team.”
“We have seen the impact Leo has had on the organisation both on and off the field and we are thrilled to see him commit for a further two seasons with the club.”
“That level of continuity is crucial for the model that we have here at the club, a model that Leo not only believes in but is a product of.
“In his four seasons, he has capped 43 new players with the majority of them coming from the 12 counties of Leinster.
“This season he has capped eight players from our Academy in the 54 players used across the Guinness PRO14 and the Heineken Champions Cup.
“This is an important announcement for the club and we are delighted to have our business done ahead of a crucial block of games for Leo, his staff and the players.”
The retention of Lancaster is also a major positive for Leinster amid talk that he would be joining Andy Farrell as part of the Ireland coaching set up. His deal is also believed to be on the same time frame as Cullen’s through to the end of the 2021 season.
“Stuart has consistently shown his commitment to the Leinster cause and it is a real boost to retain the services of a world-class coach,” added Dawson.