'Blown away' Friend signs Connacht extension
Connacht head coach Andy Friend has agreed on a two-year contract extension through to summer 2023, a deal that will keep the Australian with the Irish province for a total of five years after he arrived there in 2018 as the successor to Kiwi Kieran Keane.
The ex-Australia 7s boss has handed debuts to 15 Connacht academy players during his time so far at a club that has proven a home away from home for the head coach who currently has his team in second place in Conference B of the Guinness PRO14 despite last Sunday’s home defeat to Ospreys.
“Ever since my wife and I moved to the west of Ireland I have been blown away by both the welcome we have received from the people here, as well as the pride they have for their province and for Connacht rugby,” said Friend.
“It has been a really enjoyable time for both of us and it was an easy decision to commit to a further two years. There is a hugely exciting few years ahead for Connacht, both on the field with the squad we have and off the field with the redevelopment of The Sportsground.
“I want to play my part in the next stage of this journey and I will do all I can to build on the progress we have made to date and ensure we deliver on the real potential that exists within this group.”
— Connacht Rugby (@connachtrugby) January 28, 2021
Connacht CEO Willie Ruane added: “Everyone has been really impressed by what Andy has brought to the province in his three seasons here. He has bought into everything we are trying to achieve and brings a positive culture and ethos to the entire organisation.
“While Andy has been instrumental in helping our existing players become better players, he has also given our academy players the opportunities to impress and in doing so enabled us to build the depth we require to succeed.”
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) January 28, 2021
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