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Muldoon To Return To Connacht As Lineout/Maul Coach

Muldoon To Return To Connacht As Lineout/Maul Coach

Portumna man John Muldoon to set to return to his native Connacht after a five-year spell at Bristol Bears ©INPHO/James Crombie

Connacht Rugby have confirmed the appointment of former captain John Muldoon to the province’s senior coaching team on a two-year deal.

Muldoon will have responsibility for the lineout and maul, working in conjunction with Colm Tucker who will remain in charge of the scrum and breakdown.

Muldoon made an unrivalled contribution to Connacht over a 15-year career, playing a record 327 times for the westerners and captaining them to the historic PRO12 title in 2016.

Since his retirement in 2018, the Ireland-capped back rower, who turned 40 last November, has gained extensive coaching experience in a five-year period with Bristol Bears.

He was first appointed as Bristol’s defence coach before taking on responsibility for the forwards, helping the side win a Challenge Cup in 2020 and then finish first in the 2020/21 Gallagher Premiership table.

Connacht head coach Pete Wilkins commented: “John Muldoon needs no introduction, but it’s worth stressing that first and foremost he’s an excellent coach, who has clearly made a huge contribution in his five years at Bristol.

“I worked with John during his last season at Connacht – and my first – and it was clear at that stage he had all the attributes to become a top-class coach.

“It’s been great to see that early potential realised over the last few seasons and I look forward to him bringing that experience back to Connacht Rugby

“Secondly, very few people understand the culture and values of Connacht Rugby like John does. He’s experienced first-hand all the highs and lows, and has a connection with this place that cannot be overstated.

“That passion and knowledge will be a benefit to all of us, and I know everyone who has an interest in Connacht Rugby will be delighted to see him back in the west.”

Muldoon stated: “I’m very excited to be coming back to Connacht Rugby. It’s hard to believe it’s been five years and I’m really looking forward to moving back to Galway and getting to work with the boys.

There’s some familiar faces but a lot of new ones too, since my time there. In that regard I am excited by the blend of young talent coming through within the squad, coupled with the quality and experience of some of the more experienced guys.

Dewald (Senekal) has done an exceptional job the last two years and I want to build on that over the coming seasons.

“I’ve obviously been watching Connacht from afar and it’s clear the team have been building momentum throughout the season.

“From speaking to Pete these last couple of weeks, I’m excited about his vision for where he hopes to take the team and I am delighted to be able to play my part on that journey and deliver on the level of ambition that everyone with an interest or involvement in Connacht Rugby is striving to achieve.”