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Connacht Coaching Team Retained For Next Two Seasons

Connacht Coaching Team Retained For Next Two Seasons

Connacht Rugby have announced that the province’s attack coach Nigel Carolan, forwards coach Jimmy Duffy and defence coach Peter Wilkins have all signed two-year contract extensions to take them up to the end of the 2020/21 season.

Making the announcement today, Andy Friend said: “One of the first things that struck me when I took up the position of head coach of Connacht Rugby was the strength of the coaching team that was already in place. They are an exceptional team and one of the best collective groups I have worked with in my coaching career.

“Obviously a major priority for us has been to retain the services of these guys into the future and I am delighted that we are now in a position to announce this great news. We can now continue to focus on producing an exciting, attacking and ultimately winning brand of rugby for the seasons ahead.”
The westerners’ attack coach Nigel Carolan was Connacht Academy Manager from 2004 to his appointment with the professional team in 2017. The Galway man and former Connacht player is also former head coach of the Ireland Under-20 squad.

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Commenting on his contract extension, Carolan said: “We have a very clear focus on where we are going as a team and a province, and we’re determined to deliver further success in the seasons ahead. We pride ourselves on our attacking style and I am excited about the contribution I can make to that in the coming years.”
Forwards coach Jimmy Duffy has held his current role since 2015 and was part of the coaching team that won the GUINNESS PRO12 title in 2016. He previously worked as Elite Player Development Officer in the Connacht Academy for a four-year period, and has overseen numerous age-grade teams within Connacht as head and assistant coach, along with seven seasons with the Ireland-Under-18 Clubs side.

Duffy, also a former Connacht player, commented: “Connacht Rugby is an exciting place to be, both on and off the field. We’ve made progress this season on all aspects of our game and are continuing to improve. There is even more potential in the squad and I believe that we can maximise that potential in the coming seasons.”
Also extending his contract is defence coach Peter Wilkins who joined Connacht from Edinburgh ahead of the 2017/18 season. He began his coaching career with the RFU before moving to Australia where he worked with the Queensland Reds Super Rugby side and as head coach of Queensland ‘A’.

“I am extremely honoured to be part of Connacht Rugby and I’m delighted to have extended my contract for another two years,” admitted Wilkins. “I am proud of the progression that we’ve made defensively this season and I look forward to working with all of the coaches and the squad to continue that progression in the seasons ahead.”