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The leading candidates to be Andy Farrell's attack coach

Incoming Ireland Head Coach Andy Farrell has less than a year to finalise his coaching ticket whe...



The leading candidates to be A...
Rugby

The leading candidates to be Andy Farrell's attack coach

Incoming Ireland Head Coach Andy Farrell has less than a year to finalise his coaching ticket when he takes over from Joe Schmidt after next year's Rugby World Cup in Japan.

It's highly likely he'll continue masterminding Ireland's defence as part of his remit but he is yet to confirm who will be joining him as he takes over the national side.

Here are the likely candidates, in no particular order, to take the reigns of Ireland's attack:

Ronan O'Gara

The Ireland legend is building up an impressive coaching CV since he hung up the boots in 2013. The Munster out-half took up a role as an assistant coach at Racing 92 in July of the same year and hasn't looked back. He helped the Parisian's win the Top 14 title in 2016 before agreeing an early release from is contract to join the Crusaders in New Zealand for the 2018 Super Rugby Season.

The Irishman joined the reigning champions and helped them retain their title. He is currently contracted until the end of the 2019 Super Rugby season which concludes in July.

Stuart Lancaster

The former England Head Coach has re-built his reputation after being axed following a disappointing Rugby World Cup campaign in 2015. A senior coach at Leinster, the Englishman was part of the successful double-winning 2016/17 season for the men in blue and is seen as an integral part of the coaching ticket at the province.

Lancaster's influence over the current crop of Leinster players has been significant with Leo Cullen lavishing praise on the Yorkshireman's impact on the physical conditioning of the squad.

Having previously worked with Farrell in the England set-up - a reunion in green is a possibility.

Mike Prendergast

The former Munster scrumhalf is slowly building up a reputation as one of the best attack coaches in France. Stints with both Grenoble and Oyannax brought him to the attention of Stade Francais coach, Heyneke Meyer, and the Irishman was given responsibility as 'coach of the backs and attack in general' last summer.

Alan Quinlan has been full of praise for Prendergast, telling Ger on OTB AM in August: "I think Onnayax in their matches last year - they kind of captured the imagination of people watching last year. They would be scoring 25, 30, 35 points and getting beaten by a score or two and he was the attack coach."

Wayne Smith

The New Zealander is a highly sought-after tactician with an incredibly impressive CV. Smith has a 20 year association with the All Blacks, both as a player and a coach, and was part of the coaching tickets which won World Cups in 2011 and 2015.

He stepped away from his role with New Zealand in 2017 as he battled cancer but has committed to consultancy roles with the Kobe Steelers in Japan and the Italian national side.

Smith would be seen as a major coup for the IRFU after he turned down a role with England after the 2011 World Cup as he didn't want to divulge the secrets to the country's first World Cup win in 25 years.

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Andy Farrell Ireland Irish Rugby Joe Schmidt Mike Prendergast Ronan O'Gara Rugby Rugby World Cup Stuart Lancaster Wayne Smith