Friend is new Connacht Head Coach

Connacht Rugby Andy Friend as the province’s new Head Coach, having signed a three-year contact.

Friend will arrive in the Sportsground in late June to oversee preseason training for the 2018/19 season.

Friend guided the Australian Under-21 team to the final of the World Championships in 2005, then going onto manage English Premiership side Harlequins for three seasons.

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Friend’s most recent role was as Head Coach of the Australian Sevens team.

“I am extremely excited and honoured to be appointed as Head Coach of Connacht Rugby” explained Friend.

“Connacht is a proud province with huge potential to build on the success of recent seasons. I look forward to meeting the players, staff, supporters and wider community when I arrive in the Sportsground ahead of the new season.”

“We are delighted to announce Andy Friend as the new Head Coach of Connacht Rugby” explained Connacht Rugby CEO Willie Ruane.

“Andy has a wealth of experience at international and club level and shares our ambition for Connacht Rugby over the coming seasons.”

Andy “will arrive in the Sportsground at the end of June and will oversee the preseason training plan ahead of the 2018/19 season” added Ruane

Friend worked as part of Eddie Jones’ Wallabies coaching team for the Tri Nations Series in 2002 and the Rugby World Cup in 2003.

“Andy is an experienced Head Coach with insight into both northern and southern hemisphere club rugby through working in both the English Premiership and Super Rugby” explained IRFU Performance director David Nucifora.

“He has experience in driving and developing organisation structures and has spent time working at the top end of the international game.”