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Dublin: 10°C Thursday 28 January 2021
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Campbell promoted as Ireland U20s boss while Leamy joins as defence coach

Noel McNamara leaves after a successful tenure that included the 2019 Grand Slam.

Kieran Campbell and Denis Leamy will work together with the U20s.
Kieran Campbell and Denis Leamy will work together with the U20s.
Image: INPHO

THE IRFU HAVE confirmed the appointment of ex-Ulster and Ireland scrum-half Kieran Campbell as the new Ireland U20s head coach.

Former Munster back row Denis Leamy has also come on board as the new defence coach, with Colm Tucker in the forwards coach role. 

Ulster academy manager Campbell succeeds Noel McNamara as head coach, with McNamara now putting his full focus into his own full-time role as Leinster academy boss.

McNamara had a successful tenure after his appointment ahead of the 2018 Six Nations, leading the U20s to a Grand Slam in 2019. They were on course for another Grand Slam last year before the championship was cancelled due to Covid-19.

Campbell was an assistant coach to McNarama with the U20s over the past three seasons and now steps up to the top job.

Ex-Ireland international Leamy, who has been working as an Elite Player Development Officer with Leinster Rugby since October 2019, is a new face in the set-up as his rise in the coaching world continues. 

While the Ireland U20 staff would generally be preparing for a Six Nations right now, the postponement of this year’s championship has just been confirmed.

It is expected that the U20 Six Nations will instead be played this summer.

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“The postponement of the Six Nations is disappointing for the players, coaches and management, however the most important thing is people’s health and we fully understand and support the decision,” said new boss Campbell.

“We must all follow public health advice and the guidelines in place to protect our families and communities.

“The IRFU will explore the options and formats for the championship to take place at a later date with Six Nations and the other unions and we’ve been fortunate to have delivered one camp before Christmas.

“We were able to build a foundation of work through that camp and through remote video calls with the players in recent weeks.

“With this body of work completed and our commitment to exposing players to competitive game-time within the current restrictions – including the ‘A’ fixture between Ulster and Leinster this Friday – players, coaches and management will be striving to ensure the group is prepared to perform for the 2021 championship at a later date.” 

About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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