IRFU add three new appointments to national team’s management structure

THE IRFU have appointed three new members to the management of the national team.

Former rugby league international Graham Steadman will take charge of defensive coaching. Steadman will continue his defensive duties with Munster until a replacement can be found.

Brian McLaughlin has been named as national skills coach. A former schoolmaster from Royal Belfast Academical Institution, he coached the senior team there to five Ulster Schools Cup victories and was part of the successful U21 coaching team that won two triple crowns in 1996 and 1998.

The final addition is that of Gerard Carmody as national team manager.

Carmody has been working with the IRFU since 1992 and in 2003, he was seconded to the Irish team for the Rugby World Cup as squad administrator. He returned to his position as match manager following the World Cup before being appointed to his present position.

Meanwhile, the Munster U21 team to face Leinster in the final of the IRFU Interprovincial Championship in Athlone tonight (7pm) is the same as that which started against the same opposition at Rosbrien last week.

Munster won that game 21-19, clinging on to the lead in the closing seconds as Leinster launched a furious late challenge.

Connacht missed out on a place in the final despite having beaten second placed Leinster in Donnybrook. Leinster, Connacht and Ulster all won one and lost two, but Leinster had two more bonus points. They take on Ulster for the second time in a game to decide third/fourth places. That game is timed for 5pm, also in Athlone.

Leinster Rugby has announced an A team calendar for the coming season. The squad will be coached by Colin McEntee, Richie Murphy and senior team skills coach Emmet Farrell.

The side will be managed by Gerry Murphy and the squad will be selected from the Senior, Development and Academy panels.

Leinster will face Ulster in Navan RFC on Friday next, September 30 (7pm) and will then have fixtures against Cambridge University, Munster and Oxford.

MUNSTER (U21’s v Leinster, Athlone, 7pm): I. Hanley, E. Moloney, T. Gleeson, E. Ryan, E. Mills, C. Doyle, D. Williams, D. Hurley, B. Duggan, D. Ryan, M. O’Hea, C. Kenefick, B. Holland (captain), D. Sherry, M. Essex.

Replacements: C. Parkes, R. Feeney, R. Noonan, B. O’Mahony, S. Cronin, A. Ross, G. O’Keeffe.

LEINSTER (U21’s v Munster): F. Carr, K. Barden, F. McFadden (UCD), C. Donohoe, S. Hanratty, J. Sexton, M. D’Arcy; K. O’Neill, G. O’Meara, P. Doran Jones, D. O’Reilly, D. Toner, L. Mantle, D. Laffan, capt, S. O’Brien.

Replacements: C. Culleton, K. Maloney, A. Lightowler, R. Boucher, D. Coughlan, A. Geraghty, C. O’Sullivan.

CONNACHT: M. Butler, C. Power, M. Aspell, K. Finane (captain), B. Murphy, P. Durcan, M. Diffley, C. Muldoon, C. Telford, L. Scahill, D. McGowan, J. Mullin, S. Young, L. Casserly.

Replacements: J. Hogan, M. Kelly, C. Malone, C. Doyle, R. Morrow, S. Considine, C. O’Beirne.

ULSTER: R. Fegan, D. Black, D. Cave, M. Scott, J. McGrugan, J. Watt, P. Marshall, G. Murphy, S. Philpott, R. Carleton, T. Anderson, D. Cobain, D. Pollock, S. Ferris, W. Faloon.

Replacements: G. Mitchell, C. Knipe, N. Magee, A. Saunderson, J. Burns, J. Shiells, M. Suitor.

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