Andy Friend confirmed as new head coach

  • fatgav
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2 months 3 weeks ago #61729 by fatgav
Just announced. Three year deal. Arrives in June
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2 months 3 weeks ago #61731 by MulMan
Replied by MulMan on topic Andy Friend confirmed as new head coach
Great news let's hope this works out a little better than with KK
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2 months 3 weeks ago #61732 by CountFurlo
Replied by CountFurlo on topic Andy Friend confirmed as new head coach
Connacht Rugby and the IRFU are delighted to announce Andy Friend as the province’s new Head Coach. Friend has signed a 3 year contract and will arrive in the Sportsground in late June to oversee preseason training for the 2018/19 season.

Friend has extensive coaching experience at both club and international level. His professional coaching career extends back to the advent of the professional game when he worked within the Australian Institute of Sport rugby programme in 1995.

He went on to hold assistant coaching positions at the New South Wales Waratahs and the Brumbies, where he worked as skills coach under Eddie Jones.

In 2005 he took up the head coach role with English Premiership side Harlequins for three seasons. He subsequently returned to the Brumbies as Head Coach where he remained until 2011. Friend also worked as a head coach in Japan for four seasons.

On the international stage he worked as part of Eddie Jones’ Wallabies coaching team for the Tri Nations Series in 2002 and the Rugby World Cup in 2003. He guided the Australian Under-21 team to the final of the World Championships in 2005 and his most recent role was as Head Coach of the Australian Sevens team.

Commenting on the appointment, CEO of Connacht Rugby Willie Ruane said: “We are delighted to announce Andy Friend as the new Head Coach of Connacht Rugby. Andy has a wealth of experience at international and club level and shares our ambition for Connacht Rugby over the coming seasons. He will arrive in the Sportsground at the end of June and will oversee the preseason training plan ahead of the 2018/19 season.”

Speaking on the appointment of Andy Friend, Performance Director of the IRFU David Nucifora commented: “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. He has experience in driving and developing organisation structures and has spent time working at the top end of the international game.”

Following his appointment as new Head Coach of Connacht Rugby, Andy Friend added: “I am extremely excited and honoured to be appointed as Head Coach of Connacht Rugby. 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.”

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2 months 3 weeks ago #61734 by wp_rathead
Replied by wp_rathead on topic Andy Friend confirmed as new head coach
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2 months 3 weeks ago #61735 by connemara man
Replied by connemara man on topic Andy Friend confirmed as new head coach
Cautiously optimistic. The positives are that he'll be here for ore season and is a mate of Nucifora, but he's effectively been out of top flight rugby for 7 years and out of 15 for 3 of them

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2 months 3 weeks ago #61736 by Bazzo
Replied by Bazzo on topic Andy Friend confirmed as new head coach

wp_rathead wrote: Interesting piece on him here:
citynews.com.au/2018/gavel-the-good-friend-of-rugby/


Very interesting. Can imagine this had a lot to do with his appointment

He loves club rugby, but is not a fan of the current Super Rugby believing the conference system is confusing and says the money in the sport is going to the top when more should be going to grassroots and developing the skill level of players.

Friend says: “We are trying to build the pyramid from the top down and it doesn’t work. It is not about the people at the top who play Super Rugby and coach Super Rugby, it’s about the grassroots and building the pyramid from the base.”

In other words, a need exists for far greater quality support for the development of junior players and coaches in their formative years if rugby in this country is going to be successful again.

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2 months 3 weeks ago #61737 by Banm

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2 months 3 weeks ago #61739 by Betty Swallocks
Replied by Betty Swallocks on topic Andy Friend confirmed as new head coach
Glad we've made a quick appointment. I wonder if the new Head Coach is bringing any new coaching staff with him or are Peter Wilkins, Nigel Carolan, and Jimmy Duffy staying in situ.

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2 months 3 weeks ago #61741 by RogueXV
Replied by RogueXV on topic Andy Friend confirmed as new head coach
Like Connemara man I'm cautiously optimistic. The prospect of the first proper preseason in three years is welcomed news. I assumed the search for Keane's replacement began months ago and maybe it did in some form but since Friend only became available in April the Board didn't have anyone waiting long in the wings before KK was let go. He obviously fits the bill of Grassroots to Green Shirts so they have corrected Keane's perceived weakness with community relations. Wouldn't count his time at 7s against him and it could be an asset if he can incorporate its expansive style into the 15-a-side game. Here's hoping he sees out his contract and is able to build success year on year.
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2 months 3 weeks ago #61742 by phatguerilla
Replied by phatguerilla on topic Andy Friend confirmed as new head coach
Previous work as a skills coach and arriving in June are both big pluses for me. Should be able to help the aussie signings settle in and if he's friends with Nucifora that's probably not a bad thing. Love for the club game makes a lot of sense for Connacht.
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2 months 3 weeks ago #61743 by salmson
Replied by salmson on topic Andy Friend confirmed as new head coach
Got Quins promoted, had a Premiership record of W22 L22 and went W8 L5 in both his Super Rugby seasons. As a unit coach he'd probably be skills which is the one we're missing, and coached with Wallabies in RWC 2003.

Against that wasted half a decade in Japan, there's a player heave (gulp) on his record and his record with Oz 7s was mediocre.

But the question everybody is avoiding... Is it OK to pronounce his name like The Inbetweeners?
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2 months 3 weeks ago #61744 by pinky
Replied by pinky on topic Andy Friend confirmed as new head coach

RogueXV wrote: but since Friend only became available in April


Ah he was always available really.
Winter, spring, summer or fall. All we had to do was call. And he'd be there ...

(It's too hot out to get my coat, so I'll just log out for a while and think about what I've done).

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2 months 3 weeks ago #61746 by mahick
Replied by mahick on topic Andy Friend confirmed as new head coach

pinky wrote: (It's too hot out to get my coat, so I'll just log out for a while and think about what I've done).

Not enough time Pinky!

..... but when you’ve 9,000 crazy western people shouting at you,
it’ll give you that couple of percent that you need....John Muldoon

-Clan Committee Member

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2 months 3 weeks ago #61747 by Accidentally Onside
Replied by Accidentally Onside on topic Andy Friend confirmed as new head coach
He seems pretty active on social media, and it's heartening to see there is a lot of good will for him from some very good players and coaches (Cooper Vuna, Ugo Monye, Danny Care, Phil Greening [who had a few great words about Connacht too], Laurie Fisher, Nick Easter, etc).

Hopefully he goes well here, he's made a good first impression anyway.
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2 months 3 weeks ago #61750 by Stakeknife84
Replied by Stakeknife84 on topic Andy Friend confirmed as new head coach
A bit of insight into the hiring of Andy Friend: www.rugby.com.au/news/2018/05/24/andy-friend-connacht-signing
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2 months 3 weeks ago #61752 by Tall Paul
Replied by Tall Paul on topic Andy Friend confirmed as new head coach

phatguerilla wrote: Previous work as a skills coach and arriving in June are both big pluses for me. Should be able to help the aussie signings settle in and if he's friends with Nucifora that's probably not a bad thing. Love for the club game makes a lot of sense for Connacht.


The skills coach jumped out to me as well. I think we never recovered from Ellis leaving as skills coach.
Fingers crossed that we get our skills level back up to our previous standard.

The other thing that I noticed was the press release.
Connacht and the IRFU announced.
I wonder who really fired KK us or David Nucifora ? Especially when Friend came so close to getting the Ulster job.

I hope he has afew contacts to get high quality signings on our budget.
Here hoping that he is very successful

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.

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