Ireland boss Farrell brings in extra help
NEWS: Ireland coach Andy Farrell has added a very iconic figure to his coaching staff following an inconsistent first calendar year.
Former Ireland captain Paul O’Connell has joined the Ireland national coaching group as forwards coach with Simon Easterby to focus on defence.
Paul was capped 108 times by Ireland and captained the team to Six Nations success in 2014. O’Connell’s distinguished playing career also included seven Test match appearances for the British & Ireland Lions across three tours and two Champions Cup titles with Munster.
Since retiring from playing in 2015, Paul has held coaching positions with the Munster Academy, Ireland Under-20s and Top 14 side Stade Francais.
Farrell’s Ireland struggled for consistency throughout 2020, winning their home games in Dublin but losing meekly on the road in England (twice) and France.
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Commenting on O’Connell’s new role, head coach Farrell said: “Paul brings a wealth of rugby knowledge with him and as forwards coach, he will have responsibility for the forwards including the lineout working alongside John [Fogarty]. He will also be another strong voice and leader within the group.
“Simon [Easterby] has a real passion for defence and having developed Ireland’s forward play over the past six years with the additional responsibility for the defence over the past twelve months, he will now be able to focus his energy and rugby intellect on this area of our game.”
O’Connell added: “I’m really looking forward to working with Andy and the rest of the coaching group. I worked with Simon as a player and am looking forward to working with him again.
“It’s an exciting young group of players to be involved with and there are talented forwards coming through across the four provinces that will no doubt be pushing for international selection in the coming months and years.”