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Leinster assistant Hugh Hogan joins Scarlets as defence coach

Hogan is the latest young Irish coach to head abroad.

Hogan is heading for the Scarlets.
Hogan is heading for the Scarlets.
Image: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

LEINSTER ASSISTANT COACH Hugh Hogan has signed for Scarlets in Wales as defence coach.

Hogan has been the contact skills coach for Leo Cullen’s Leinster since 2017, having previously worked across a number of development coaching positions within the province.

The St Mary’s College RFC legend, who captained the club to an AIL title in title in 2012, has been the head coach of a number of Leinster underage teams and the province’s A side, as well as coaching in the IRFU’s 7s programme.

He was appointed to the role of Elite Player Development Officer by Leinster in 2013 and then made the move into the province’s senior coaching staff in 2017, earning consistently positive reviews from Leinster’s players for his work on their contact skills.

Hogan will now look to further his development with increased responsibility as defence coach with Scarlets, who will play against Leinster in the United Rugby Championship. Hogan will be part of new Scarlets head coach Dwayne Peel’s staff in Wales.

He is the latest young Irish coach to head abroad, following on the heels of Leinster academy manager Noel McNamara, who has signed for the Sharks in South Africa, and Ulster academy manager Kieran Campbell, who has joined Ealing in England.

“I am privileged to have had the opportunity to work with Leinster Rugby over the last eight and a half years and I’ve enjoyed my time here immensely,” said Hogan of leaving his native province.

“Coaching with your home team is an honour that few people get to experience in professional sport and I’ll cherish, not just great memories, but more importantly the strong relationships and many friendships that I’ve been lucky to forge.

hugh-hogan-lifts-the-trophy Hogan won the AIL with Mary's in 2012. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

“I’m particularly grateful to Girvan Dempsey who gave me the opportunity of my first role as an Elite Player Development Officer and to Leo Cullen for his support and friendship, as well as the opportunity to coach with the senior team over the past four years.

“I’ve had the chance to learn and develop throughout my time with Leinster and working with world-class players, backroom staff and coaches has definitely contributed to this. I wish to extend a warm thank you to all of Leinster’s fantastic supporters and the wider Leinster community who really make it a special team to represent.

“I’m hugely excited by my new role with Scarlets and am really looking forward to the fresh challenge, as well as the new adventures I will have with my family in west Wales. Scarlets are an excellent side with a fantastic playing group and I’m eagerly anticipating working with Dwayne Peel and his coaching team, as well as getting to know the proud and passionate supporters at Parc y Scarlets.”

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Leinster boss Cullen paid tribute to Hogan’s attention to detail, dedication, innovation, and work with the province’s younger players over the past eight-and-a-half years as he wished him and his family well in Wales.

“Hugh has been an important addition to the senior coaching team in Leinster Rugby over the last four years in his role as contact skills coach,” said Cullen. 

“Prior to that, he worked closely with many of the senior players we see today playing for Leinster and Ireland when he worked as an Elite Player Development Officer with Leinster.

“With the welcome focus on safer tackle technique as well as the constant evolution of the contact area, his role has become a necessity for the club to ensure we are delivering best practice in both player safety and effective performance.”

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