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Connacht legend Muldoon to step up as forwards coach at Bristol under Lam

The 36-year-old Irishman joined the Premiership club as defence coach last year.

FORMER CONNACHT CAPTAIN John Muldoon will step up to the role of forwards coach under director of rugby Pat Lam at Bristol Bears next season.

Ex-Ireland international Muldoon joined the Premiership club as defence coach last year after Lam convinced him to move to Bristol following his retirement from playing.

john-muldoon-arrives Muldoon retired from playing last year. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

With current forwards coach Jonathan Thomas departing for Worcester at the end of his season, 36-year-old Muldoon has now agreed to take on increased responsibility in leading the English side’s forward pack.

Muldoon was Connacht captain in 2016 when Lam guided them to their remarkable Pro12 triumph, and made a record-setting total of 327 appearances for his native province before ending his playing career.

Portumna man Muldoon will continue his progress as a coach with the new role in charge of Bristol’s forwards next season.

“Working with Pat and the management team has been a fantastic experience and I’ve learned so much since I arrived in Bristol,” said Muldoon.

“It’s a truly unique culture that we have at the Bears and an environment that demands high performance, whether you’re a player, coach or member of staff. I’m excited about the opportunity to take on the forwards coach role next season – it’s a huge challenge.

“When you have a director of rugby like Pat who believes in you and gives you the tools to succeed, it not only creates a positive atmosphere but also provides absolute clarity about what is expected and the direction we are going as a club.

“We have a young, hungry set of forwards and some genuinely world-class players, so everything is in place for us to continue to show progress next season and beyond.”

john-muldoon Muldoon at Leopardstown Racecourse in June. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Lam welcomed the appointment of Muldoon ahead of next season.

“We’re delighted that Mul will be stepping up into the role of forwards coach. He’s excited about the opportunity to build on the excellent foundations that JT has put in place.

“Our philosophy at Bristol Bears is to ideally promote from within and develop our staff to become world-class in their fields. That’s the key thing about our vision, when personnel leave, the systems and structures that have been put in place means that the next person steps in to add value to the good work that’s being done.

“Mul has all the ingredients to be an outstanding coach, as he has already shown in his efforts with the team defence. We have worked together for a long time and he’s a natural leader. The boys respect him and he knows our systems in great detail.

“The entire management team are closely aligned in everything we do – we want to be the most dominant pack in the league and Mul can help deliver that ambition.”

Lam’s side have made a strong start to the current season, with three wins in their opening four games leaving them top of the Premiership.

Bristol’s coaching staff also includes former Connacht man Conor McPhillips, who is an assistant coach to Lam. 

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Murray Kinsella

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