Andy Friend signs on for two more years with Connacht Rugby

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Andy Friend signs on for two more years with Connacht Rugby

Andy Friend will be staying on as Head Coach for Connacht Rugby for at least another two years, having signed a new contract with the province.

The two year contract extension will keep Friend at the Sportsground until at least the end of the 2022/23 season.

Andy Friend says he’s thrilled to continue his role with Connacht Rugby, having been “blown away” by the welcome he and his wife received in the west of Ireland, and the pride people have for provincial rugby.

“It has been a really enjoyable time for both of us and it was an easy decision to commit to a further two years.

“There’s a hugely exciting few years ahead for Connacht, both on the field with the squad we have and off the field with the redevelopment of The Sportsground.”

“I want to play my part in the next stage of this journey and I will do all I can to build on the progress we have made to-date and ensure we deliver on the real potential that exists within this group.”

Andy Friend joined Connacht in 2018, after a world tour that saw him coach in in Australia, England and Japan and finally as Head Coach of the Australian Sevens side.

In his first campaign Connacht reached the Guinness PRO14 playoffs, ensuring Heineken Champions Cup qualification in the process.

Back-to-back Champions Cup qualification was secured during the shortened 2019/20 season, and the side currently sit in 2nd place in Conference B of this season’s campaign.

During this time he has also helped support players coming up from the grassroots, with 15 Connacht Academy players having their professional debuts in less than three years.

Commenting on today’s announcement, CEO of Connacht Rugby Willie Ruane says Friend’s decision to remain at the club is a big boost for the organisation.

“Everyone at Connacht Rugby has been really impressed by what Andy has brought to the province in his three seasons here. He has bought into everything we are trying to achieve and brings a positive culture and ethos to the entire organisation.”

“Whilst Andy has been instrumental in helping our existing players become better players, he has also given our Academy players the opportunities to impress and in doing so enabled us to build the depth we require to succeed.”

 

image credit: Connacht Rugby/INPHO