Simon Easterby joins Ireland coaching team after being released by Scarlets
Last Updated: 17/07/14 3:06pm
Former captain Simon Easterby has been confirmed as Ireland’s new forwards coach.
The former flanker, who retired due to a persistent knee injury in 2010, will replace John Plumtree in head coach Joe Schmidt's back-room set-up after the New Zealander was forced to return home for family reasons.
Easterby will take up his new role in October, in time for Ireland's autumn international test series against South Africa, Georgia and Australia.
The 38-year-old has been released by Scarlets after two years as head coach of the club, where he was a back-row forward trade for seven years.
"Simon has tremendous Test match experience combined with an in-depth knowledge of the current national squad players," said Ireland boss Schmidt.
"He is well-known to Irish rugby supporters and to many of the players, while his knowledge and experience will help drive the team forward."
Easterby won 65 Ireland caps between 2000 and 2008, as well as touring New Zealand with the British and Irish Lions in 2005.
The appointment further bolsters Ireland's ranks, with David Nucifora now in place as high performance manager and Les Kiss continuing as defence coach - despite taking on the caretaker Director of Rugby role at Ulster.
Easterby admitted he is relishing his impending move, with Ireland heading into the new campaign as the reigning RBS 6 Nations champions.
"It's an exciting time to be involved in Irish rugby and I am looking forward to helping the team continue to be as competitive as possible," he said.