CONNACHT HAVE ANNOUNCED a reshaping of their coaching setup for next season after backs coach Nigel Carolan and forwards coach Jimmy Duffy both confirmed they are to leave the province this summer.
Current defence coach Peter Wilkins will make the switch to the role of senior coach next season. Wilkins will be supported by Mossy Lawler, who has been appointed assistant attack & skills coach, and Colm Tucker who will take charge of defence and forwards’ technical skills.
Lawler and Tucker will be making the step up from academy and talent-ID roles respectively.
Connacht also confirmed that they still intend to appoint an overall forwards coach in light of Duffy’s impending departure. That process is ongoing and an eventual appointment will increase the number of people in Connacht’s professional coaching group to five, including head coach Andy Friend.
All three new appointments have signed two-year deals in conjunction with Friend’s recent contract extension.
“This is a really exciting development for Connacht Rugby,” Friend said. “Firstly, with Peter as our new senior coach, we have someone who has been a crucial part of the coaching team since my arrival. Pete has an incredible knowledge of the game and has built up a wealth of experience across the Pro14 and Super Rugby. I know he will thrive in his new role of implementing strategies across a number of areas of our programme.
“I’m equally pleased to welcome Colm and Mossy into our coaching setup from next season. I’ve always believed in strong integration between the pro and academy environments, so we’ve been working closely together the past few years. Like Nigel and Jimmy before them when they first became pro coaches, they have worked their way through the coaching ranks here and have played a major part in the development of the many young players we have in our squad. Their appointments will allow for even greater continuity as we continue to develop our homegrown talent.”