Ireland have appointed former captain Paul O’Connell as forwards coach ahead of next month’s Six Nations
O’Connell, who was capped 108 times for Ireland, joins Andy Farrell’s staff with Simon Easterby focusing on defensive duties.
The 41-year-old, who captained Ireland to Six Nations success in 2014, has had coaching stints at Munster Academy, Ireland U20s and Top 14 side Stade Francais.
O’Connell said: “I am really looking forward to working with Andy and the rest of the coaching group.
“I worked with Simon (Easterby) 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.”
Farrell added: “Paul brings a wealth of rugby knowledge with him and as forwards coach he will have responsibility for the forwards including the line-out working alongside John (Fogarty). He will also be another strong voice and leader within the group.
“Simon 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 12 months, he will now be able to focus his energy and rugby intellect on this area of our game.
“The weekend’s Interpro games and the European fixtures in the weeks ahead will give players the opportunity to push for selection for the Six Nations squad. The squad will not be selected until after the Champions Cup Round 4 fixtures have been completed.”
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