Connacht appoint new defence coach

Peter Wilkins joins the province from Edinburgh

BY Simon Maguire 14:40 Tuesday 9 May 2017, 14:40 9 May 2017

Connacht training at the Sportsground. ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

Connacht have appointed former Edinburgh coach Peter Wilkins as their defence coach from the start of next season.

Wilkins joins as Keiran Keane's new look coaching ticket takes shape. He will work alongside Nigel Carolan and Jimmy Duffy out west.

The Englishman previously worked as a defence coach with the Queensland Reds in Australia.

"I'm really pleased to be joining Connacht Rugby and excited about the opportunity to become a part of an organisation I have enormous respect for," Wilkins said.

"I have visited the Sportsground as an opposition coach and have always been struck, not just by the skill set and commitment of the Connacht players on the field, but also by the passion and rugby values of the Connacht supporters and wider community."

He added: "I'm well aware of Kieran's qualities from my time in the southern hemisphere, and am really looking forward to working closely with him, as well as Jimmy, Nigel and the other members of the organisation."

Connacht endured a disappointing defence of their Guinness PRO12 championship and this season also have had to replace head coach, Pat Lam, who leaves for Bristol at the end of the season.

"We're delighted to be welcoming Peter to Connacht Rugby ahead of the new season," said Connacht Rugby CEO Willie Ruane.

"In identifying the right candidate for this role, we were taken by the consistent, positive feedback on the work that Peter has done in his previous roles.

"We are excited about what he will be able to bring to a new coaching team and look forward to his arrival at the start of pre-season."

Edinburgh conceded 59 tries in their 22 Guinness PRO12 Championship games this season, while Connacht conceded 61.

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