Michael Kearney has announced that he will step down as Ireland team manager following the GUINNESS Series in November.
Michael Kearney, who took over from Paul McNaughton in January 2012, worked alongside Declan Kidney through the 2012 and 2013 RBS 6 Nations Championships, the three-Test summer tour of New Zealand and the GUINNESS Series fixtures against South Africa, Fiji and Argentina.
Kearney managed the Ireland team on the 2013 North America tour alongside interim coach Les Kiss before continuing in the role following the appointment of Joe Schmidt as Ireland head coach.
He played a significant role in supporting the recent on-field success of the national team which included a first Test Series win in the southern Hemisphere (Argentina 2014), back-to-back RBS 6 Nations titles (2014 and 2015), topping Pool D at the 2015 Rugby World Cup and a first ever Test victory on South African soil (2016).
Philip Browne, Chief Executive of the Irish Rugby Football Union, commented: “The IRFU would like to thank Mick for his contribution to Irish Rugby. He has provided strong leadership and direction for the national team and played a significant role in creating an environment that has driven on field success for Ireland. We wish him and his family well for the future.”
Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt said: “Mick’s experience, reasoning and people skills have added tremendous value to the national players and management over the past five years.
“While we’re disappointed that he will be finishing post the GUINNESS Series this November, we have certainly profited from his friendship and the many hours he has committed to fulfilling his role so effectively. We’d also like to thank Eugenie and Mick’s extended family for allowing us to dominate his time over the past few years.”
Michael Kearney commented: “It has been a great privilege to work with the national team for the past five years. During that time I have made many friendships and enjoyed a lot of special moments.
“I’ve witnessed at first hand the incredible work ethic of players and management and the desire to reach world class standards in everything they do. The time was right for me to step down and allow the next team manager time to integrate into the group ahead of the next World Cup.”
Michael was educated in Castleknock College and is a former past President of Lansdowne FC and previous to taking on the Ireland manager position, he fulfilled similar positions with Leinster and the Ireland Under-20s.
A successful business man, Kearney has continued to play an active role in the business development of Snap Printing, Home Instead Senior Care as well as a number of other businesses.