Dublin - Two-time
Ireland Triple Crown winning flyhalf Paul Dean is to take over as
manager of the national team after the November Test series, it was
announced on Friday.
The 56-year-old - who scored just 19 points in 32 Tests from 1981-89
- will replace Michael Kearney, who is stepping down after four years
in the role.
Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt said Dean, who also played in the
inaugural Rugby World Cup in 1987 and was selected for the 1989 Lions tour of
Australia, would be a valued member of the team.
"Paul comes into the role with a great rugby pedigree and an
understanding of how challenging international rugby can be," said
"We will look to integrate him into the management group over the
coming months and look forward to working closely with him in the build
up to the 2017 6 Nations," added the 50-year-old New Zealander.
Dean, who will take up his new duties after the November 26 Test
against World Cup finalists Australia, for his part said he was looking
forward to being part of a successful team.
"I am joining a successful and highly motivated group and I look
forward to supporting them achieve further success at the highest level
of the game," said Dean, who after retiring as a player became a
successful businessman and subsequently a sports consultant.
Kearney, who also went on to a successful business career after he
had to retire from rugby aged 24 because of injury, played an
influential role in a successful period for Ireland under Schmidt after
an initially demanding start with Declan Kidney as coach.
Kearney, who was party to two Six Nations title successes and a first
Test win in South Africa on their recent tour, said he had enjoyed the
past five years.
"I've witnessed at first hand the incredible work ethic of players
and management and the desire to reach world class standards in
everything they do," said Kearney.
"The time was right for me to step down and allow the next Team
Manager time to integrate into the group ahead of the next World Cup."