Andy Farrell is to replace Joe Schmidt as Ireland’s head coach after the IRFU announced the New Zealander’s intentions to leave the role after 2019 World Cup in Japan.
Farrell was touted as the best candidate to take over from Schmidt, and the appointment is seen as a seamless transition given his role within the Ireland set-up to date.
The English man’s record over the past number of years has been incredible. He masterminded Ireland’s flawless defensive performance that completely nullified the All Blacks last week in Dublin.
— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) November 26, 2018
Indeed, the All Blacks have only been beaten four times by Northern Hemisphere sides in the last decade. On each of those four occasions, Andy Farrell coached the victorious side. (England, Lions, Ireland x2).
It is unknown whether forwards coach Simon Easterby and kicking/skills coach Richie Murphy will stay on alongside Farrell.
In what is a turn up for the books, Gerry Thornley has reported in The Irish Times that Stuart Lancaster is to come on board with Farrell and look after the attacking side of the game. Lancaster has been hugely instrumental in Leinster’s recent run of form, leading the province to a domestic and European double last season.
The pair have worked together before, albeit this time it will be seen as a role reversal. Andy Farrell previously worked as defence coach for his native England rugby team, who at the time were coached by one Stuart Lancaster.
If Lancaster does come in with the Ireland team it will come as a huge blow to Leinster rugby who have looked like an unstoppable force with the former English head coach at the helm alongside legendary Leinster figure Leo Cullen.
For now, all we know is that Andy Farrell will become Ireland’s next head coach, and it is a move by the IRFU that will be well received by fans.