Aussie coach Gaffney joins Ireland setup - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Aussie coach Gaffney joins Ireland setup

06/08/2008 06:26:14 AM Comments (0)

Australia's Alan Gaffney has been recruited as backs coach of the Ireland rugby union team, head coach Declan Kidney says.

Gaffney, who led Saracens to the European Cup semi-finals last season, will combine his Ireland role with a coaching position he recently took up at Leinster.

Kidney has also handed former Bristol fly-half Mark Tainton the role of kicking coach, a position he held with Ireland from 2003 until the end of last season's Six Nations Championship.

"We are delighted to have both Alan and Mark on board with Ireland," said Kidney. "Both of them are extremely strong technical coaches in their areas, and I think they will bring a further positive mix to the coaching team and squad.

"Alan brings with him experience of both international and most importantly, Irish rugby.

"Mark is recognised as one of the top kicking coaches in the world, and his experience of working with the squad in the past will help with the transition over the next number of weeks."

In Gaffney's three seasons as Munster rugby director, they won the Celtic League, Celtic Cup and were twice European Cup semi-finalists. He took over at Saracens in 2005.

Tainton scored more than 3,000 points during his playing career, retiring from competitive rugby in 1997.

As a coach, he worked with Richmond, Oxford University and Munster, before linking up with Ireland in 2003.

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