Gaffney to help Force attack

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 08:19
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NEWS: The Western Force continue to add to their coaching stocks with the announcement that experienced coach Alan Gaffney will work with the franchise as an Attack Specialist for the 2017 Super Rugby season.

With almost 20 years of professional coaching experience behind him, Gaffney joins Dave Wessels’ coaching team along with current Ulster Assistant Coach Joe Barakat - who recently joined the Force for two seasons

Currently the National Elite Programmes Coach with the ARU, Gaffney has a decorated CV - including positions as the Wallabies and Waratahs Assistant Coach, Ireland and Leinster Backs Coach, Saracens Director of Rugby, and Munster Head Coach.

Gaffney says he is excited to be working with Wessels and helping the Force move in the right direction.

"I’ll be working with Dave [Wessels] and also with the new attack coach," he said.

"I suppose an old bugger like me has been around the traps, and that’s not to say I’m always right, but it means as a coaching group we will be able to challenge each other.

"I think adopting a different attitude to the way they play from the last couple of years is going to be pretty exciting for the Force. There are a number of good young players that are really hungry to play and don’t play with fear, so it’s an exciting time,"

Western Force coach Dave Wessels says having Gaffney as part of the coaching team will be invaluable to the Western Force.

"[Gaffney's] CV speaks for himself," he said.

"He's achieved almost everything there is to achieve in rugby and has a fantastic understanding of how to build an effective attack. He's won a Six Nations Grand Slam, a European Rugby Champions Cup and been successful with some of the best teams in the world,"

The franchise will also announce a full-time attack coach to work alongside Gaffney early next week.

"To have a wise, old head around to act as a sounding board for myself and the other coaches is going to be pretty special,"

Gaffney's professional coaching career started off as assistant coach of New South Wales Waratahs in 1997. In 2000 he moved to Leinster  Rugby Ireland to occupy the position of back coach and then headed to Munster to be the head coach. In 2005 he shifted his focus to international rugby and occupied the role of assistant coach of the Wallabies.

In 2006 Gaffney became Director of Rugby at Saracens and after two years went back to Ireland to occupy the position of Back coach and Technical Consultant of Leinster. In 2008 he became Ireland's back coach, however, in 2011 he moved to Australia to work as the assistant coach at the Waratahs for two years. Currently, he is the National Elite Programmes Coach of Australia.

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