Thursday 23 March 2017

Elwood, foley lead way for coaches

Tony Ward

Tony Ward

The appointment of former Ireland players Eric Elwood and Anthony Foley as the new coaching team to the Irish Wolfhounds (Ireland 'A') for the coming matches against the English Saxons and Scotland 'A' is to be warmly welcomed.

It's really vital for Irish rugby that we entice former players of this calibre back into the game they played so well. The ripple effect is considerable and the development of indigenous coaching is imperative. Most former players start with their clubs, but the incentive must extend beyond that to the very top of the game.

The easy option is to bring in outside coaches, mainly from the southern hemisphere. There was a time when such recruitment was essential but, 15 years into professionalism, there's sufficient expertise here at home to take the game onwards and upwards.

The appointment of Elwood and Foley is a massive statement by the IRFU and national coach development manager, Stephen Aboud.

The message to up-and-coming Irish coaches -- not least former players -- is a positive one.

Irish Independent

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