Leinster senior coach Stuart Lancaster says that the Irish style of play under new head coach Andy Farrell will bear similarities to Leinster's rugby philosophy.
Lancaster is confident both he and Leinster head coach Leo Cullen will be able to quickly reintegrate the Irish players that have been on Six Nations duty for the business end of the club season.
Former England coach Lancaster knows Farrell well, as Farrell was his assistant with England.
Lancaster told the BBC Radio Five Live Rugby Union Weekly Show that the Six Nations has a significant impact on Leinster:
"The international programme probably hits Leinster more than any team in the world. Not many club teams would give up 16, 17, 18 players to international rugby.
Let's take the Six Nations coming around the corner. So we might lose 16, 17, 18 players to Ireland. So this time last year, Joe Schmidt takes them away, Six Nations takes place. Different philosophy, not right, not wrong. I'm not saying our way is the right way and everyone else is wrong by any stretch of the imagination. Then they come back to Leinster at the end of March, 16, 17, 18 players. We have had this group of players that are still on the 'Leinster way'. Then you have got to reintegrate this group of talented players who have played a different way, back into our way and get that muscle memory back to where it needs to be to win a quarter-final, a semi-final and final. So that's the challenge of Leinster.
Lancaster is confident there will be a good fit between the Eastern province and the national set up regarding how the game is played:
It's obviously going to be fascinating in this Six Nations with Andy Farrell leading Ireland, Mike Catt, John Fogarty who was here, Simon Easterby, who obviously knows the club well. When those Leinster players leave and go into Ireland camp in two weeks time, what will the coaching be and how will that look when they come back? Actually, knowing Andy and Mike and obviously having worked with them, it will be pretty close I think to what we do. I am not saying it will be the same. I think there will be differences in attack and differences in defence. Philosophically, knowing those two as I do, Andy and Mike in particular, I think there will be an element of similarity that should make the integration piece easier.
And Lancaster feels Farrell is up to the task of replacing Joe Schmidt:
He's spent eight years; four years with me; four years with Joe, watching, listening, deciding what he would do if he was in that situation. I think he's more than ready to do the job. I think he'll be well prepared. It will be different for him.
I think he is (a number one). I mean he always has been in his life, hasn't he, in his career. He's always gravitated to number one positions. I think the good thing about Andy is that he's never been in a rush to be the number one and he hasn't got an ego either.
Everyone's in the Team of Us.
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