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Andy Farrell has been appointed as the leader of Ireland’s team for the 2027 World Cup, following the signing of a new contract.

Andy Farrell has signed a two-year contract extension to remain as Ireland head coach until the end of the 2027 World Cup.

On the same day, Farrell revealed that Rob Howley would join Warren Gatland’s coaching team for the Six Nations. This marks Howley’s return to Wales after being banned for violating betting rules.

The head coach of Ireland expressed that coaching the team has been a highly fulfilling experience and he is honored to continue his partnership with the IRFU. He takes pleasure in guiding a group of highly skilled and dedicated players, and looks forward to seeing new talent emerge as we enter a new phase.

Farrell, who took up his present role in 2019 and is a leading contender for the head coach role on the British & Irish Lions tour of Australia in 2025, added: “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.

My family and I are thrilled to continue on this exciting next chapter.

Ireland was defeated by New Zealand in the quarter-final match of the 2019 World Cup in France, despite entering the competition as the top-ranked team. Prior to this, Farrell had guided Ireland to their first series victory in New Zealand during the summer, and they also achieved a grand slam earlier in the year.

The IRFU’s performance director, David Nucifora, stated that Farrell would have the opportunity to temporarily leave his position in order to coach the Lions in 2025. This is expected to be announced in January, with Farrell being offered the role of Ireland head coach. In the past, Farrell has served as the Lions’ defence coach on tours in 2013 and 2017.

It would make us very happy if Andy was chosen as the coach of the Lions. We hope that recognition will be his next achievement and we would feel confident in how to handle it.

“I believe we can still discuss the length of time he will be absent from us, if it comes to that.”

In the years between 2008 and 2019, Howley held the position of attack coach for Wales. During this time, the national team achieved four Championship titles, three of which were grand slams.

The ex-Lions scrum-half had to step away from rugby prior to the 2019 World Cup due to his involvement in betting, resulting in an 18-month suspension from the sport with half of it being deferred.

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He has resumed his position as a “technical” coach, which also includes working with the Wales Under-20 team before their Six Nations matches.

Howley expressed his excitement for rejoining the Welsh team, stating that he believes the timing is perfect. He is grateful for the opportunity to continue his lifelong dedication to his job and is thankful to the Welsh rugby community for their acceptance and trust in him, which he promises to repay to the best of his abilities.

“I have faced a very difficult period in my life. Sharing my experiences and discussing them has helped me to progress.”

The departure of Jonathan Thomas as the contact area coach opened up a spot in Gatland’s management team. This gave Howley the opportunity to join other assistants Mike Forshaw, Jonathan Humphreys, Neil Jenkins, and Alex King.

Source: theguardian.com