Clontarf have confirmed their senior coaching team for the 2017/18 season. Andy Wood’s men, who narrowly lost last May’s Ulster Bank League final, have added former Ireland international James Downey to their coaching ticket for the upcoming campaign.
James Downey, the once-capped Ireland centre, replaces long-serving coach Simon Broughton, who has left Castle Avenue to take up an Elite Player Development Officer role with Leinster Rugby.
Downey started his professional playing career with stints at Leinster, Connacht and Munster, before moving on to Calvisano in Italy. However, he is best remembered for his time at Northampton Saints, for whom he played 148 times and won a European Challenge Cup medal.
The Dubliner was also capped for Ireland on their summer tour to Canada in 2013. He retired at the end of the 2016 season and was a player-coach with Monkstown in the Leinster Junior League last season.
Downey, who turned 36 in March, will work oversee the backs at Clontarf, as well as working across the contact area, and having input into attack and defence.
Clontarf’s Kiwi head coach Andy Wood will continue to cover the forwards and team attack, with long-term assistant coach Simon O’Donnell continuing as defence coach, incorporating structures and the contact area.
Meanwhile, former Ireland Women’s scrum half Tania Rossier returns for her second season as head coach of the Clontarf J1 side.
‘Tarf’s senior squad will be managed by Pat McHale, with Niall Barry as physiotherapist, Leo Tiernan as strength & conditioning coach, Jim Barden as bagman, masseur and kicking tee manager, and Mick Quinn as kit manager.