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Is John Fogarty the perfect fit as Andy Farrell's Ireland scrum coach?

The former hooker has been heavily linked with a role on Farrell’s coaching ticket.

Fogarty has been Leinster scrum coach since 2015.
Fogarty has been Leinster scrum coach since 2015.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

JOHN FOGARTY WOULD be the ideal man to take over from Greg Feek as Ireland’s next scrum coach when Andy Farrell appoints his backroom team, according to Bernard Jackman. 

Fogarty has been heavily linked with the position which will become available when Feek departs for Japan after this year’s World Cup, and Leo Cullen this week admitted the Leinster scrum coach is a ‘man in demand’.

The former hooker has been on the Leinster coaching team since 2015 and has seen his stock rise considerably in that time, not only helping the province to a fourth European crown but overseeing the development of the likes of Andrew Porter and Tadhg Furlong. 

Speaking on this week’s The42 Rugby Weekly, both Jackman and Murray Kinsella agreed Fogarty would be the perfect fit for the national team role from 2020 onwards.

“He would be a great fit,” Jackman said. “He’s obviously worked with a lot of front rows who are in the squad. The Leinster scrum has a very similar philosophy to the Irish scrum.

“We have to give Greg Feek and Colin McEntee [IRFU high performance manager] credit. They started off a scrum programme about four or five years ago. There wasn’t actually a clear philosophy of how we wanted to scrum, so the four provinces all had a scrum coach with his own unique philosophy, which isn’t an issue as you always want to have a slight difference but there have to be core fundamentals that run through.

“What the IRFU did was combined Greg Feek’s role as the senior scrum coach to also being a teacher and a mentor to a body of coaches who went through this scrum programme over two-and-a-half years. What it led to was instead of one guy going around coaching all the props in Ireland, I think there are 20 of them now working at all levels.”


On the possibility of Fogarty swapping Leinster for Test rugby, Murray Kinsella said: “John Fogarty would be a good appointment, he has done really good work at Leinster, their scrum has been good and he seems to be really popular with the players and highly-regarded in that sense.

“It’s frustrating again for Leinster if they do lose a member of staff to Ireland. Their sense that the IRFU are taking from them a little but will probably only grow with that but they did a brilliant bit of work in tying down Stuart Lancaster, who would have been the ideal fit for Ireland.

“It’s going to be a really important appointment for Andy Farrell.”

The next Ireland boss, who will take over from Joe Schmidt at the end of this year, will also need to find an attack coach.

“What you’d like to see is a really good attack coach, I’m not quite sure who that is, but someone who can bring that creative edge and those strike plays that are so important, and maybe a slight shift in philosophy,” Kinsella added.

“It would be nice to see something different from Ireland. You’re obviously not going to completely revolutionise it, Andy Farrell will have been influenced quite a lot by Joe Schmidt and his style but it’ll be really fascinating to see if Ireland have a different identity in terms of what they do with the ball in the next coaching ticket.” 

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Ryan Bailey

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