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Dublin: 10°C Wednesday 21 October 2020

Blow for Connacht as highly-rated skills coach Ellis signs for Blues

Tana Umaga and the Blues have lured Ellis back to New Zealand.

CONNACHT HAVE BEEN dealt a blow with confirmation that skills coach Dave Ellis has signed for Super Rugby outfit the Blues.

Ellis has been a key figure in Connacht’s rise, with his coaching of the province’s skills attracting extensive praise during last season’s run to the Guinness Pro12 title.

Dave Ellis Ellis will move to the Blues in New Zealand. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

The New Zealander is a popular part of Pat Lam’s coaching set-up in Connacht and has been publicly credited by the province’s players repeatedly for his fine work in recent seasons.

However, Lam will now be forced to say goodbye to a second member of his coaching staff, with Ellis following backs coach Andre Bell out of the Sportsground.

Ellis has signed a contract to join the Blues, head coached by former All Blacks centre Tana Umaga.

It remains unclear exactly when Ellis will make the move back to New Zealand, but pre-season for the 2017 Super Rugby campaign will begin in the coming months.

Connacht first signed Ellis on a one-year deal in 2013, after the Putaruru man had spent 11 years coaching at the International Rugby Academy of New Zealand. Ellis also had stints coaching in Argentina, Hong Kong, South Africa, USA and with New Zealand’s women’s team.

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Murray Kinsella

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