Townsend heaps praise on Lancaster

Date published: November 12 2015

Former Scottish international Gregor Townsend has heaped praise on Stuart Lancaster for what he achieved during his tenure as England coach.

Lancaster, who was appointed in 2012, voluntarily stepped down from his coaching role on Wednesday evening. Townsend indicated that he had much respect for the Englishman.

"It is a sad day for coaching when someone who has put a lot of effort in and really transformed English rugby, especially culturally, and got everyone behind it, loses his job," the Glasgow Warrior coach told The Scotsman.

"Stuart was kind enough to allow me a day with him earlier this year, to visit him and talk about coaching, and he shared a lot of stuff that he had learned.

"It is sad when you see this happen to a guy who you know cared so much about the job. But we understand this is professional sport and that's what happens. It happens much more in football than rugby, but it is not a great day for someone who gives his time for me to help my growth as a coach.

"It just shows what a massive job it is. Obviously, they hosted a World Cup, they have the most players, probably the richest union, and the most media following them – so he and the team are under huge scrutiny and that is where rugby has gone.

"It has gone from being an amateur sport to one getting used to being professional and to having a really high profile."