Former England coach Stuart Lancaster believes Ireland can do what no other Irish team in the history of test rugby has done, and defeat the All Blacks.

Lancaster, now a member of the backroom staff at Irish club Leinster, told the Irish Times that they "have got to believe" they can defeat the reigning world champions when they face off in Chicago on 5 November and in Dublin a fortnight later.

"It's belief about beating the All Blacks," said Lancaster.

"They [Ireland] have got to believe they can do it in Chicago."


Lancaster speaks from experience, having defeated the All Blacks 38-21 in London while coaching England in 2012, the first loss the All Blacks suffered under Steve Hansen's tenure as head coach.

However, the 47-year-old expects Ireland to be better prepared in the rematch two weeks after the Chicago clash, one week after Ireland host tier two side Canada.

"Then obviously the key thing then is not to think you have played your cup final because you still have Australia the week after. That is equally a big game and you want to make sure you finish your autumn series on a positive."

After having lost his job as head coach of the English national side following a dismal 2015 Rugby World Cup campaign on home soil, which saw his side bundled out of the competition in the group stage - the first time England has ever not qualified for a finals spot - Lancaster has full faith in his former colleague and England international Andy Farrell, who currently serves as Ireland's defence coach.

"I don't think there are that many injuries of the key personnel so with the evolution of the defensive system Andy Farrell will bring in ... he has coached against the All Blacks any number of times, and Joe [Schmidt]'s intellectual property on New Zealand... I'm looking forward to it," he told the Irish Times.

Lancaster stated Ireland have a "very good core of senior players who have played together lots".

27 Oct, 2016 3:38pm
2 minutes to read

"I don't think it will take them too long [to knit]. Joe has been in place a long time now so it's not like they are coming in and learning a new system and structures."