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Johnny Sexton's brother Mark lands coaching role with Connacht

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Mark Sexton is taking up a role with the Connacht academy. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Mark Sexton is taking up a role with the Connacht academy. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Mark Sexton is taking up a role with the Connacht academy. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Connacht have appointed Andrew Browne and Mark Sexton to the roles of Elite Player Development Officer (EPDO).

The duo will replace Collie Tucker and Mossy Lawler, who have both been promoted to Connacht's senior backroom team ahead of the 2021-22 season.

Browne, a former lock, won the PRO14 title with Connacht in 2016 and the Galway native played 156 games for his home province across an 11-year career before his retirement in 2018.

Since hanging up his boots, Browne has been working as head coach at Galwegians, while also as an assistant with the Connacht U-19s.

Sexton, brother of Leinster and Ireland captain Johnny, is currently attack and backs coach for Leinster U-19s, St. Mary’s RFC and St. Mary’s College's Senior Cup team.

He enjoyed a distinguished playing career at St. Mary’s and won an All-Ireland League title in 2012.

As an EPDO, Browne and Sexton will manage and operate the elite player development programmes in the Connacht Academy.

"I am delighted to welcome Andrew and Mark to Connacht Rugby and to our Academy team," Connacht Rugby Academy Manager Eric Elwood said.

"They are two young coaches who have played the game at a high level and have become students of the game, gaining valuable coaching experience with schools, clubs, and Age Grade teams in their provinces.

"I am very much looking forward to working with these two highly motivated individuals and I have no doubt they will add great value to our environment at Connacht Rugby."

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Peter Smyth, Head of Elite Player Development at the IRFU added:

"It is great to get another two young coaches appointed to important pathway positions.

"They have garnered experience in the club and schools game as well as with provincial representative teams.

"Their experience of working with young players and their knowledge of the club and schools landscape will be beneficial in their new roles."

Meanwhile, Ireland will continue their preparations for the upcoming U-20s Six Nations campaign with a game against Munster 'A' at the IRFU High Performance Centre tomorrow.

With Ireland's opening Six Nations game against Scotland on June 19 just two weeks away, Richie Murphy's side will take on a Munster outfit with plenty of senior experience in their ranks, including former Ireland U-20 stars Jack Crowley, Thomas Ahern and Jake Flannery.

Ireland U20s (v Munster 'A'):

15. Jamie Osborne (Naas RFC/Leinster)
14. Conor Rankin (Ballynahinch RFC/Ulster)
13. Shane Jennings (Buccaneers RFC/Connacht)
12. Cathal Forde (Corinthians RFC/Connacht)
11. Chay Mullins (Bristol Bears/IQ Rugby)
10. James Humphreys (Queen's University Belfast/Ulster)
9. Nathan Doak (Banbridge RFC/Ulster)
1. George Saunderson (Queen's University Belfast/Ulster)
2. Ronan Loughnane (UCD RFC/Leinster)
3. Mark Donnelly (Garryowen RFC/Munster)
4. Mark Morrissey (UCD RFC/Leinster)
5. Harry Sheridan (Dublin University FC/Leinster)
6. Jack Kelleher (UCC RFC/Munster)
7. Oisin McCormack (Buccaneers RFC/Connacht)
8. Alex Kendellen (UCC RFC/Munster).

Replacements:

16. Eoin de Buitléar (An Ghaeltacht/Corinthians RFC/Connacht)
17. Temi Lasisi (Lansdowne FC/Leinster)
18. Sam Illo (Old Wesley RFC/Leinster)
19. Diarmuid McCormack (Dublin University FC/Leinster)
20. Reuben Crothers (Ballynahinch RFC/Ulster)
21. Ben Murphy (Old Wesley RFC/Leinster)
22. Tim Corkery (UCD RFC/Leinster)
23. Josh O'Connor (UCD RFC/Leinster)
24. Donnacha Byrne (Sligo RFC/Connacht)
25. Ben Carson (Banbridge RFC/Ulster)
26. Chris Cosgrave (UCD RFC/Leinster).

Munster A: Jack Crowley; Calvin Nash, Dan Goggin, Alex McHenry, Liam Coombes; Jake Flannery, Paddy Patterson; Liam O’Connor, Diarmuid Barron (C), Keynan Knox; Fearghail O’Donoghue, Thomas Ahern; Jack Daly, Daniel Okeke, Jack O’Sullivan.

Replacements from: Rhys Marshall, Josh Wycherley, Jeremy Loughman, Conor Moloney, Dylan Murphy, Ethan Coughlan, Ben Healy, Aaron Leahy, Alan Flannery, Seán French, Jamie Shanahan.


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