Former Munster Boss Lands Northampton Saints Role

Back in business.

Northampton Saints have today confirmed that Alan Gaffney has joined them as a technical coaching consultant until the end of the 2017/18 season. Gaffney will begin working at Franklin’s Gardens on New Year’s Day ahead of the club’s Aviva Premiership match against Gloucester on Saturday 6 January 2018.

The 70-year-old is one of Australia’s most experienced coaches who will bring over two decades of professional coaching experience to Franklin’s Gardens. Gaffney will already be a household name to supporters of Irish rugby after spells with the Munster, Leinster, and Ireland squads between 2000 and 2011.

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As backs coach of the Ireland national team and Leinster in 2009, Gaffney helped to mastermind both a Six Nations Grand Slam triumph and a Heineken Cup victory in the same year. Since then the Australian served as senior assistant coach at the New South Wales Waratahs from 2011 to 2013, and has been Rugby Australia’s national elite programmes coach from 2013 to present.

At Saints, Gaffney will oversee the existing coaching team, comprising acting head coach Alan Dickens, forwards coach Dorian West, Phil Dowson who will now oversee defence, and assistant coach Mark Hopley.

“We are delighted to have recruited Alan as our technical coaching consultant until the end of the season,” said Northampton Saints CEO Mark Darbon.

“Alan is hugely experienced and admired throughout the game for being a forward thinking, innovative rugby coach. His CV speaks for itself; he has been successful with some of the best teams in the world – including winning a Six Nations Grand Slam and Heineken Cup – and has a clear understanding of how to set-up an effective all-around rugby team. He also has a proven track record of developing some of the world’s best coaches and players.

“Alan will take on responsibility for the rugby department and will lead the existing coaching group made up of Alan Dickens, Dorian West, Mark Hopley and Phil Dowson.

“In parallel, the Board will continue to focus on the recruitment of a permanent Director of Rugby to be in place for the start of the 2018/19 season. As I have said previously, there has been a great deal of interest in this vacancy and we hope to be able to announce this appointment in the coming months.”