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Dublin: 11°C Wednesday 23 September 2020
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Young Munster boss named head coach of Ireland Club XV for 2020 title defence

Limerick’s Gearoid Prendergast will lead the Ireland Club International squad against Scotland Clubs.

Gearoid Prendergast (file pic).
Gearoid Prendergast (file pic).
Image: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

THE NEW HEAD coach of the Ireland Club International squad has been unveiled as Limerick man Gearoid Prendergast.

Prendergast, the current director of rugby at Young Munster and manager of their Division 1A All-Ireland League [AIL] team, will take up the role for the 2020 Club International series against Scotland Clubs.

“I’m honoured,” he said. “Representing your country is huge for both players and coaches. I’m looking forward to working with some of the top players from around the country. It’s really exciting.”

Prendergast arrived to Young Munster from UL Bohemians — where he spent three years — in 2016, and is currently in his ninth season coaching in the AIL. In his time in charge of Young Munster, he has steered them to the semi-final stage of Division 1A and the finals of both the Munster Junior and Senior Cups.

Prior to his stint at Bohs, the Treaty native was assistant coach of his current club and head coach at Richmond, where he steered them to Munster Junior Cup and Transfield Cup glory in 2010.

The squad will train at Irish Rugby’s High Performance Centre at the Sport Ireland campus in Blanchardstown. 

The 2020 programme comes to a head with a two-game series against Scottish Clubs on a home-and-away basis in late January and early February, with fixture details yet to be confirmed.

“Knowing how to manage players and their time is key to this programme,” Prendergast noted. “It’s in the middle of the season, so you have to be cognisant of players’ welfare around game-time and training camps. It’s about keeping them fresh for both club and country.”

Ireland are the current Dalriada Cup holders, after winning the 2019 edition under outgoing head coach Morgan Lennon.

Assistant coach Johne Murphy has also moved on, as has team manager Maurice Hartery who made the move to Northampton Saints.

“Credit to Morgan Lennon and his team, they did an excellent job in winning last year’s series,” Prendergast added. “It’s something we’ll want to continue.

“That’s no easy feat either because the Scottish team are very well equipped with some very talented players. It’ll be a big challenge.”

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