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Stuart Lancaster: ‘I would never not want England to do well’

Former England coach will seek redemption for his international disappointments when Leinster take on Racing 92 in Saturday’s Champions Cup final in Bilbao

For more than 12 centuries pilgrims have travelled to northern Spain in search of spiritual fulfilment and emotional comfort. Stuart Lancaster has only to alight from Leinster’s team bus at Bilbao’s San Mamés stadium rather than walk the trail to Santiago de Compostela but, after two-and-a-half years, his journey to professional redemption is finally complete.

The Champions Cup final against Racing 92 is not just about one man but it is a particularly resonant day for England’s erstwhile coach. The last must-win showpiece games his family attended were in 2015 when England were bowing out of their home World Cup at Twickenham. A big occasion for rugby lovers in Dublin, Paris and the Basque country also marks a personally significant return to the sunlit uplands for Lancaster and his wife, Nina, their two children, parents and friends.

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