Rugby Union

Ireland coach Andy Farrell extends contract beyond 2027 World Cup

Ireland head coach Andy Farrell has extended his contract

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Andy Farrell is set to lead Ireland into the 2027 Rugby World Cup after extending his contract beyond the tournament.

Farrell’s deal had been due to expire in the summer of 2025, but the former dual-code international has agreed terms on an extension that will take him through to the competition in Australia.

The 48-year-old first joined Ireland as an assistant under Joe Schmidt in 2016 before succeeding the New Zealander after the 2019 World Cup.

He was named World Rugby Coach of the Year in October after guiding his side to a Six Nations Grand Slam triumph and the quarter-finals of the World Cup in France.

“Coaching Ireland has been a hugely enjoyable experience and I am proud to extend my association with the IRFU,” Farrell said. “It is a pleasure to work with such a talented and committed group of players and as we enter a new cycle, it will be exciting to see more players come through the system.

“There is a talented group of established internationals who are determined to succeed at international level for Ireland and I am excited to see how the last number of Ireland Under-20 squads will also emerge and challenge for international honours in the near future. It all makes for an exciting next chapter and it is one which my family and I are delighted to continue.”

Andy Farrell guided Ireland to a Six Nations Grand Slam earlier this year

Farrell is the favourite to lead the British & Irish Lions on their tour of Australia in 2025 having developed Ireland into one of the top national sides in the world, leading the team to an historic series victory in New Zealand in July 2022.

He was unable, however, to take the team to the last four of the World Cup for the first time, falling agonisingly short against New Zealand in Paris.

Capped eight times by England in rugby union and 34 times for Great Britain in rugby league, Farrell was part of England’s staff between 2011 and 2015.

Ireland will begin the 2024 Six Nations again among the favourites. They open their campaign against France in Marseille on Friday 2 February.

“Over the course of the last four years Andy has helped drive the highest standards for the men’s national team and it is testament to the positive environment which he and his backroom team have fostered that Ireland has enjoyed such a sustained period of success in recent time,” said David Nucifora, performance director at the IRFU.

“Andy is an ambitious and talented coach who continues to make an indelible mark on Irish rugby, and it is a significant coup to retain his services. I have no doubt that he will look to build in the years to come.”

2003 World Cup winner Mike Catt, meanwhile, will leave his role as attack coach after Ireland’s tour of South Africa next summer.

Catt, who like Farrell was part of Stuart Lancaster’s England staff at the 2015 tournament, has been connected with a possible return to Bath, where he spent more than a decade as a player.

His replacement as Ireland’s attack coach will be confirmed soon.

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