Tuesday 20 March 2018

Paul Dean to replace Michael Kearney as Ireland rugby manager

Paul Dean leads Ireland out in 1984
Paul Dean leads Ireland out in 1984
Joe Schmidt with Michael Kearney

Harry Clarke

Former Ireland international Paul Dean will replace Michael Kearney as Ireland manager after the 2016 Guinness Series.

Kearney today announced that he will leave his role following the final Autumn fixtures against Australia on November 26.

Dean won 32 caps playing for Ireland between 1981 and 1989 and scored 19 points. He was selected to travel with the British and Irish Lions on the 1989 Tour of Australia and featured in the opening fixture against Western Australia before injury prematurely ended his tour.

"It is a great honour to take up this position with the national team," said Dean.

"I am joining a successful and highly motivated group and I look forward to supporting them achieve further success at the highest level of the game."

Joe Schmidt added: "Paul comes into the role with a great rugby pedigree and an understanding of how challenging international rugby can be. We will look to integrate him into the management group over the coming months and look forward to working closely with him in the build up to the 2017 RBS 6 Nations.”

Kearney confirmed his departure early today (Friday). He has been in his position since 2012 when he took over from Paul McNaughton and has worked alongside Declan Kidney, Les Kiss (interim) and current coach Joe Schmidt.

"It has been a great privilege to work with the National Team for the past 5 years. During that time I have made many friendships and enjoyed a lot of special moments," said Kearney.

"I've witnessed at first hand the incredible work ethic of players and management and the desire to reach world class standards in everything they do. The time was right for me to step down and allow the next Team Manager time to integrate into the group ahead of the next World Cup."

Joe Schmidt added: "Mick's experience, reasoning and people skills have added tremendous value to the National players and management over the past five years.

"While we're disappointed that he will be finishing post the Guinness Series this November we have certainly profited from his friendship and the many hours he has committed to fulfilling his role so effectively. We'd also like to thank Eugenie and Mick's extended family for allowing us to dominate his time over the past few years."

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