Covid-permitting, we're one month away from the 2021 Six Nations. The first year of Andy Farrell's tenure as Ireland coach were not exactly inspiring. We beat the bad teams and lost to the good teams. England beat Ireland twice at Twickenham. There's a heap of exciting young talent playing rugby in this country but it was obvious to anyone watching Ireland in 2020 that our national rugby team had dropped a tier and were no longer in the company of the game's elite nations.
Well, Farrell has made a very interesting appointment this morning by appointing Paul O'Connell forwards coach. O'Connell not only brings coaching experience from Stade Francais, the Munster Academy and the Ireland U20s, but he is a former Ireland and Lions captain and serious thinker on the game.
𝗣𝗮𝘂𝗹 𝗢'𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗲𝗹𝗹 𝗝𝗼𝗶𝗻𝘀 𝗜𝗿𝗲𝗹𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗖𝗼𝗮𝗰𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗚𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗽 🟢
We're delighted to announce that former Ireland captain @Paul_OConnell will join Andy Farrell's coaching team ahead of the #GuinnessSixNations 🙌
Full details ⤵️#ShoulderToShoulder
— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) January 7, 2021
O'Connell told the IRFU website:
“I am really looking forward to working with Andy and the rest of the coaching group. I worked with Simon as a player and am looking forward to working with him again. It’s an exciting young group of players to be involved with and there are talented forwards coming through across the four provinces that will no doubt be pushing for international selection in the coming months and years.”
O'Connell's arrival means Simon Easterby will concentrate on coaching the defense. We're very interested to see what O'Connell will bring to the Irish pack - especially around the lineout - and how he'll work with future Ireland captain James Ryan.