Leicester boss Richard Wigglesworth reveals his debt of gratitude to Stuart Lancaster as he bids to stop the former England coach’s Leinster ‘juggernaut’ in the Heineken Champions Cup
- Lancaster reached out to Wigglesworth after he was thrust into Leicester job
- Premiership champions face what amounts to an Ireland XV in quarter-final tie
- Leinster coach seeking to lift the trophy again before leaving to join Racing 92
Richard Wigglesworth has revealed his gratitude towards Stuart Lancaster for offering support since he took charge at Leicester — as his Tigers prepare to face the ex-England coach’s Leinster ‘juggernaut’ in Dublin on Saturday night.
The Premiership champions will face what amounts to an Ireland XV in the quarter-finals of the Heineken Champions Cup.
Lancaster has already helped the province win this prize once and he wants to do so again before leaving to join Racing 92 this summer.
Wigglesworth explained how Lancaster, his former international coach, has given him advice since he was thrust into the top job after Steve Borthwick’s departure.
‘He’s been great with me,’ said the former Red Rose scrum-half. ‘I’ve had quite a few Zooms with ‘Lanny’. He really helps young coaches.
Leicester boss Richard Wigglesworth (L) is thankful to Leinster coach Stuart Lancaster (R)
‘He rang me when we were in a tough spot, which I really appreciated. We’d just had a couple of heavy defeats and he reached out. That’s a sign of the quality coach and person he is. I’m really happy for him but not that happy that I’m playing his juggernaut this week.’
Leinster have recalled Ireland pair Garry Ringrose and Caelan Doris for this marquee fixture and despite the absence of injured captain Johnny Sexton, they are formidable in all areas.
Wigglesworth has switched Freddie Steward to the wing to allow Mike Brown to start at full back — and he knows the Tigers face a huge task.
‘They are the best team,’ he said of Leinster. ‘Leo Cullen and Lancaster are running a machine. It doesn’t matter who plays for them, they always win. They have a massive squad, packed full of quality. It’s a huge challenge for us, but if we’re not excited about this, we’re in the wrong job.’
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