Connacht Rugby have confirmed two new appointments to their coaching staff for next season, with Brian Melrose (backs coach) and the province’s former winger Conor McPhillips (video analyst) coming on board.
Renowned Australian coach Brian Melrose will take up the role of backs coach at the Sportsground and former Connacht, Ireland Under-21 and Ireland ‘A’ winger Conor McPhillips will take on the newly-created role of video analyst.
Melrose has a distinguished coaching career in Australia and brings a huge wealth of knowledge and experience with him. He joins Connacht after a very successful season as head coach of Eastwood RFC in Sydney.
In 2008, he took Australia’s Under-20 team to the Junior World Championship in Wales and he has also managed the Australian Sevens side.
Melrose has a long association with the NSW Waratahs, having coached their Academy in 2004. He was also their attack and kicking coach in 2005 and 2006.
McPhillips played for Connacht between 2003 to 2008 and in that time made 120 appearances, with his first season of Celtic League rugby seeing him score 11 tries in 20 games.
He represented Ireland on their Under-21 tour to South Africa in 2002, played for Ireland at the 2001 World Cup Sevens in Argentina and also helped Ireland qualify for last year’s event in Dubai.
He was a member of the Ireland senior squad that toured Japan in 2005 and lined out for Ireland ‘A’ at the 2006 Churchill Cup.
After leaving Connacht, McPhillips continued his playing career with St. Mary’s College, starring for the Dublin club this season as they won the Leinster Senior Cup and qualified for the AIB League Division 1 final for the first time since 2000.
Th 29-year-old was also involved in the coaching set-up at Templeville Road, and will be looking forward to linking up with his former team-mate, Connacht’s new head coach Eric Elwood.