Ireland and Munster legend Paul O'Connell is to become a forwards coach under Andy Farrell, effective immediately ahead of the Six Nations.
One of the most decorated players in Irish rugby, the Limerick native made 108 appearances in green and captained Ireland to the 2014 Championship. He also won two European Cups with Munster.
O'Connell is to work with the forwards alongside John Fogarty, with Simon Easterby to concentrate on defence.
The 41-year-old has worked in coaching with Stade Francais, the Ireland Under 20s and the Munster Academy since retiring.
"I am really looking forward to working with Andy and the rest of the coaching group," O'Connell says.
"I worked with Simon (Easterby) 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," he added.
Paul O'Connell to become Ireland's forwards coach for Six Nations
Ireland head coach Andy Farrell says the addition of O'Connell to the coaching group will allow Simon Easterby concentrate full time on the defensive set, having combined that with his forwards role for the last year.
"Paul brings a wealth of rugby knowledge with him and as forwards coach he will have responsibility for the forwards including the line-out working alongside John (Fogarty). He will also be another strong voice and leader within the group," Farrell says.
Simon (Easterby) has a real passion for defence and having developed Ireland’s forward play over the past six years with the additional responsibility for the defence over the past 12 months, he will now be able to focus his energy and rugby intellect on this area of our game.
"The weekend’s Interpro games and the European fixtures in the weeks ahead will give players the opportunity to push for selection for the Six Nations squad. The squad will not be selected until after the Champions Cup Round 4 fixtures have been completed," Farrell added.
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