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Stuart Lancaster's 'Talent Agency' Has Made Some Embarrassing Claims About His Achievements

Stuart Lancaster's 'Talent Agency' Has Made Some Embarrassing Claims About His Achievements
By Conor Neville Updated

Being even a mildly successful international manager or coach enables one to make some extra income through delivering speeches on 'leadership' and the like to corporate seminars and conferences.

With some free time looming before the World Cup, England coach Stuart Lancaster has signed up with a 'creative talent management agency' in London called M & C Saatchi Merlin in order to capitalise on this.

In doing so, he follows the lead of Roy Hodgson, who is also a client of M & C Saatchi.

However, the brochure from the company extolling Lancaster's achievements has caused him some embarrassment, following revelations from the Sunday Times at the weekend.

One can overlook their claims about Lancaster leading England to the runners-up spot in the Six Nations four years running - though many in English rugby believe this to be evidence of failure and nothing to boast about.

But the next claim is harder to get past.


M & C Saatchi refer to Lancaster's achievement in leading England to a runners-up spot (as well as a few victories) in the Cook Cup, the Hillary Shield and the Millennium Trophy as evidence of his leadership ability.

The Cook Cup is awarded to the winner of the test match between England and Australia, the Hillary Shield goes to the winner of New Zealand-England, while it might surprise some Irish rugby fans to learn that the Millennium Trophy goes to the winner of the Ireland-England match.

Thus, finishing runner-up in these 'competitions' simply indicates that England lost that match and no more.


It would be a bit like boasting about finishing runners-up in the Calcutta Cup or the International Rules series or the Charity Shield.

It should be remembered that Lancaster himself had little to do with this promotional material and the agency have admitted they failed to run it past him, for which they have apologised.

Lancaster's likeability has been much remarked upon and he has emerged as probably the most popular ever England coach in this country for one, more popular even than Martin Johnson who as a coach lost every 'Millennium Trophy' fixture played in the Six Nations.


But following another agonising runners-up finish in this year's Six Nations, he is under pressure to deliver silverware as soon as possible and this well meaning blurb has made matters worse.

Either way, next year we can expect M & C Saatchi to sign up Paul Earley and recommend him to corporate audiences on the basis that he guided Ireland to a sensational runners-up spot in the International Rules series of 2014.

See also: We Talked To The First Irish Born International To Play For Ireland


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