JOE SCHMIDT HAS made his first addition to the Irish coaching ticket since taking over as head coach.
The IRFU has this morning confirmed outgoing Natal Sharks coach, John Plumtree, as the new forwards coach, meaning no place in the international setup for Anthony Foley.
Plumtree, a New Zealander, will replace Gert Smal in the role and will sit alongside Schmidt and Les Kiss as a three-man coaching ticket.
The only remaining additions to the backroom team would be a specialist kicking and scrum coach. Although the latter role could yet fall within the remit of Plumtree, a former back row.
Speaking through the Union’s official press release, the South African coach of the year in 2012 said:
“I am really looking forward to becoming part of the Irish coaching set-up. Having watched a number of recent test matches there are some really positive challenges in front of us. I’m conscious of the responsibility we have and will be working hard to play my part in driving the team forward.”
While head coach Schmidt, who will take charge of the backs with Kiss told to focus on defence, added:
“It’s great to have John joining us as part of the Irish coaching team. His proven success and broad experience across a number of competitions along with his ability to provide quality direction will add real value to the team.”