Leo Cullen says there is a lot of time to play out before Lions head coach Warren Gatland makes a call on his backroom team with Stuart Lancaster linked with a role for the 2021 tour of South Africa. 

Gatland admitted earlier this week that he had already spoken to the former England head coach, and said he offered great insight into the Leinster and Irish players before the 2017 tour of New Zealand. 

"I've had a couple of conversations with him," he told a Sky Sports podcast, "but there’s a number of other people that I’ll be looking at and to talk to and the first step is to get clarity from unions and the bosses and then potentially club CEOs about who is available, who isn’t available." 

The 50-year-old linked up with Leinster in 2016 as a senior coach and has been lauded for his work within the coaching team, with the province winning two Guinness Pro14 titles and a Champions Cup in that period. 

Cullen was giving little away when asked on his thoughts on Lancaster linking up with the tourists. 

"Lots of miles to go in that saga I think so I don’t know the answers, certainly to that question but I’d say Warren Gatland will be keeping those cards pretty close to his chest," he told RTÉ Sport.

Leo Cullen was speaking at the launch of Aviva Ireland's partnership with AsIAm to give away 1,000 back-to-school packs to autistic children throughout Ireland.

Lancaster could be one of a number of representatives from the province to travel to take on the Springboks.

"Hopefully he won’t be the only one if he is. It’s the very same thing with a lot of the players. Again, going back to the point, we want the players and all of the staff to go on and achieve.

"It’s maximising potential really, being as good as they can possibly be so if any of our coaching team or backroom team are selected to go to the national team, like John Fogarty going and we get the opportunity to bring in Robin McBryde, for any of our coaches or backroom team it’s good to get those opportunities.

"It’s experience for us all that we can try and learn from."