Farrell named Ireland defence coach

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The IRFU have announced the appointment of Andy Farrell as Ireland Defence Coach. Farrell will take up the role with the national team after the 2016 Six Nations.

Farrell joins the Ireland coaching set-up having been assistant coach with England from 2011 to 2015 as well as defence coach for the 2013 Series winning British and Irish Lions tour. 

Previous to joining the England set-up, Andy coached Premiership side Saracens.

A dual-code player, Andy played for Wigan (370 caps), England (11 caps) and Great Britain (34 caps) before switching to Union and joining Saracens. 

He won eight caps for England including three appearances at the 2007 Rugby World Cup.

Commenting on the announcement, Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt said: "It's great to have Andy coming into our coaching team. The quality of his delivery and breadth of his experience as well as the positive impact he had when coaching a number of our senior players during the 2013 Lions tour will add real value for us."

Andy Farrell commented, "To have this opportunity to work with a very talented management and playing group really excites me. With a wealth of top class experienced senior players and a fantastic crop of youngsters pushing hard the future is very positive for Irish rugby and I can't wait to get started."

Farrell's contract with the IRFU commences ahead of the June tour of South Africa and runs until the completion of the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.