Blackrock College RFC have announced the appointment of former Leinster, Ireland and Lions back rower Eric Miller as the club’s new head coach.
Eric Miller will take over the coaching duties at Stradbrook following Andy Wood’s move back to Clontarf, who gained promotion from Division 1B this past season.
Miller’s Blackrock College team and Wood’s Clontarf charges will lock horns in the new ten-team Division 1A of the Ulster Bank League next term.
Miller, who retired from rugby four years ago, has assumed the Blackrock role with immediate effect and in his first meeting with the captains and managers of the club’s teams, he spelt out his plans for the 2011/12 season.
He intends to hold a fully inclusive players’ meeting shortly where these plans will be shared with all Blackrock players.
The 35-year-old, who won 48 Ireland caps and toured South Africa with the Lions in 1997, served time as Old Wesley’s forward coach and then head coach in recent years.
He helped Wesley avoid relegation this season – they will be competing in Division 2A next season – and they also reached the quarter-final stage of the Leinster Senior League Cup.
Meanwhile, Andy Wood is back in charge of the Clontarf senior squad after the recent departure of Bernard Jackman.
Originally from Wellington in New Zealand, Wood lined out for De La Salle RFC before signing for Clontarf. He played first team rugby for a number of seasons at Castle Avenue before joining the coaching team led by fellow Kiwi Phil Werahiko.
Wood was ‘Tarf’s head coach for the 2007/08 season and brought the team to an All-Ireland League semi-final in his first year in charge. Then in 2009, he led the north Dubliners to the Division 1 final only to lose in agonising fashion to Shannon.
As well as coaching Blackrock to a fifth place finish in Division 1A this year, the former second row has been involved in the coaching set-up of the Ireland Club International side for the past two seasons.