Aussie guru Millard joins Connacht’s backroom

CONNACHT have secured former Australian Sevens coach Billy Millard as their new backs coach on a two-year deal. Millard, who spent two years with Cardiff Blues, joins the province later this month.

Millard led the powerful Sydney University club to back-to-back Premierships in 2005 and 2006, then took the Melbourne Rebels to the Grand Final of the Australian Rugby Championship. During his tenure in Wales, Cardiff Blues reached the knockout phase of the Heineken Cup and lifted both the EDF Energy Cup and the Amlin Challenge Cup.

Millard said: “I’m really looking forward to joining Connacht. It is a very exciting time as Connacht head into their first season of Heineken Cup rugby. I look forward to working with Eric Elwood and the rest of the coaching team in helping to develop the squad for the season to come.”

Meanwhile, UL Bohemian have announced that Colm Tucker Jr will be taking up the role of head coach for the coming season. The club’s new director of rugby, recently-retired former Munster star Barry Murphy, confirmed the appointment yesterday.

“I am delighted to take over as head coach of UL Bohemian,” said Tucker, a former head coach of Shannon.

“They are a great club with a great tradition and I am looking forward to working with a very talented group.

“The club is a great fit for me. I wanted to get back into coaching as soon as I could and there is not better place to do that than with this great club. The club’s ambition is to get back into the top tier of Irish club rugby and I hope to achieve that.”

Limerick rivals Young Munster have been busy in the transfer market.

Last season’s Ulster Bank League semi-finalists have confirmed the signing of Munster U20 scrum-half Brian Haugh, who kicked all of Rockwell’s points in this year’s Avonmore Munster Senior Schools Cup final. Haugh could be partnered at half-back by Andrew Burke, a schools star with Crescent Comprehensive who also shone at number 10 jersey for UCC last term.

Former St Munchin’s utility back Lukas Kuntz, Munster A’s Mike Kelleher and ex-UL Bohs man Harry de Stacpoole will extend the Greenfields outfit’s midfield and wide options.

Up front, hooker Ger Bourke and second row Sean Duggan return to the club after stints with Old Crescent and Shannon respectively, while back row Mike Rowley joins from Thomond.

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