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Director of rugby Andy Friend to leave Connacht

By PA
Andy Friend /PA

Connacht director of rugby Andy Friend will leave the province at the end of the season, the United Rugby Championship outfit have confirmed.

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Friend spent four seasons as head coach before taking up his current role as part of a reshuffle ahead of the 2022-23 campaign.

The Australian has overseen some significant results during his tenure, including a first win over Ulster in Belfast for 58 years and a first victory against Leinster in Dublin in 18, and led the Westerners to the Heineken Champions Cup knockout stages for the first time in their history last term.

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“My wife Kerri and I have made the decision that our time at Connacht Rugby will finish at the end of this season,” Friend told the province’s official website.

“This was always on the cards when I signed my two-year extension in 2021, and one that I discussed openly with Willie (Ruane, CEO) and Connacht Rugby.

“It’s certainly not an easy decision to make as we have both genuinely loved everything about our time here in the west of Ireland. From the minute we arrived we were welcomed with open arms and made to feel very much a part of the community and the rich history of the club.

“I am very proud of what we’ve been able to achieve both on and off the field as a team since our arrival, and am driven to do everything in my power to ensure this season is the best one yet.”

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