Triple Crown winner Dean appointed Ireland manager

Fri, 02 Sep 2016 14:30
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NEWS: Two-time Ireland Triple Crown winning flyhalf Paul Dean is to take over as manager of the national team after the November Test series, it was announced on Friday.

The 56-year-old - who scored just 19 points in 32 Tests from 1981-89 - will replace Michael Kearney, who is stepping down after four years in the role.

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt said Dean, who also played in the inaugural World Cup in 1987 and was selected for the 1989 Lions tour of Australia, would be a valued member of the team.

"Paul comes into the role with a great rugby pedigree and an understanding of how challenging international rugby can be," said Schmidt.

"We will look to integrate him into the management group over the coming months and look forward to working closely with him in the build up to the 2017 Six Nations," added the 50-year-old New Zealander.

Dean, who will take up his new duties after the November 26 Test against World Cup finalists Australia, for his part said he was looking forward to being part of a successful team.

"I am joining a successful and highly motivated group and I look forward to supporting them achieve further success at the highest level of the game," said Dean, who after retiring as a player became a successful businessman and subsequently a sports consultant.

Kearney, who also went on to a successful business career after he had to retire from rugby aged 24 because of injury, played an influential role in a successful period for Ireland under Schmidt after an initially demanding start with Declan Kidney as coach.

Kearney, who was party to two Six Nations title successes and a first Test win in South Africa on their recent tour, said he had enjoyed the past five years.  

"I've witnessed at first hand the incredible work ethic of players and management and the desire to reach world class standards in everything they do," said Kearney.

"The time was right for me to step down and allow the next Team Manager time to integrate into the group ahead of the next World Cup." 

Agence France-Presse