Monday 20 January 2020

Carolan and Duffy included in Connacht's coaching team

Nigel Carolan will be a huge asset to Connacht Rugby. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Nigel Carolan will be a huge asset to Connacht Rugby. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

While Connacht may have looked further afield for Pat Lam's replacement, two of the province's stalwarts in Nigel Carolan and Jimmy Duffy have been justifiably rewarded with roles in Kieran Keane's new-look coaching ticket - a clear indication of the province's desire to have home-grown voices in the set-up.

Both men hail from Galway and are embedded in Connacht Rugby, with Duffy having made an immediate impact on the senior team when he coached the forwards in last year's Pro12 success.

Several of the Academy players who came through under Carolan's watch also played a major role last season.

Challenge Carolan, who became Connacht's first Academy manager, has spent the last 13 years overseeing the development of the province's young players and the former winger believes that now is the time for a new challenge.

He is likely to take control of the backs.

Losing Carolan before the Junior World Cup in June is a major blow to the Ireland U-20s after he steered them to last year's final for the first time and followed that up with an impressive Six Nations showing.

Munster Academy manager Peter Malone will replace Carolan as interim head coach, with Ulster's Kieran Campbell coming on board to look after the backs.

"For me personally, I think the time is right to move on to a new challenge and I'm really looking forward to working with Kieran, and with Jimmy once again," Carolan said.

Duffy has been Connacht's forwards coach for the last two seasons and his influence will be key next year as the westerners look to build on the foundations laid by Pat Lam.

Connacht Rugby CEO Willie Ruane also confirmed that he hoped to finalise the province's backroom team in the coming weeks.

Irish Independent

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