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Connacht hit by fresh coaching blow with Jimmy Duffy to depart

Connacht have been dealt another blow to their coaching staff, with news of Jimmy Duffy's imminen...

Connacht have been dealt another blow to their coaching staff, with news of Jimmy Duffy's imminent departure. 

The forwards coach will leave at the end of the season, having worked at the Sportsground since the summer of 2015.

Duffy's decision to leave comes less than a week after attack coach Nigel Carolan confirmed he'd be ending a 26-year association with the province at the end of the current season.

Duffy was part of Pat Lam's coaching ticket in the PRO12-winning season of 2015-16, having worked as Elite Player Development Officer with the Connacht Academy and as a Coach Development Officer prior to that.

"This has been a tough decision for me and my family," Duffy said, "But I feel it’s the right one as I look to progress my coaching career.

"Connacht Rugby has been a major part of my life stretching over 25 years, so it was never going to be easy when the day comes to move on.

"I feel now is the time for me to stretch myself and further my development as a coach."

Connacht head coach Andy Friend expressed his sadness at Duffy's departure, saying, "Jimmy is a consummate professional and an excellent Forwards Coach who I’ve had the pleasure of working with since 2018.

"His dedication, knowledge of the game and constant drive to further develop our players has been first rate.

"Our current crop of forwards are all the better because of him and I know he’ll succeed wherever the future takes him.

"While we would have preferred to see Jimmy sign on with us again, we would never stand in the way of any coach when they feel the time is right to move on."

With their Guinness PRO14 season at an end, Connacht continue their European adventures on Saturday evening with a Challenge Cup last-16 tie away to Leicester Tigers.

EPCR confirm European finals will not be played in Marseille

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Challenge Cup Connacht European Challenge Cup Guinness Pro14 Jimmy Duffy Nigel Carolan PRO 12 PRO12