Worcester Warriors have recruited scrum coach Mark Irish to join a new-look coaching team at Sixways for the 2020/21 season. The former England Under-21 international prop will join Warriors as Scrum and Assistant Forwards Coach from Bristol Bears along with new Forwards Coach Jonathan Thomas at the end of the current season.

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Irish, 38, also worked with Warriors Director of Rugby Alan Solomons when Solomons had a stint as a coaching consultant at Bristol three years ago.

“It is great news for the club that Iro has decided to join us as our Scrum and Assistant Forwards Coach,” said Solomons. “Iro is one of the leading scrum coaches in the Premiership and has done a terrific job at Bristol.

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“In his time at Bristol he has formed a strong relationship with JT, our Forwards Coach for next season. I have no doubt that our forward pack will benefit immeasurably from their expertise and synergy.

“Iro, who is well known to me, is a tremendous bloke and a great team man, who will fit in superbly here at Sixways. I am really looking forward to working with him.”

Irish will become the third new member of Solomons’ coaching team with former Wales Backs Coach Matt Sherratt, who began his coaching career in Warriors’ Academy, returning to Sixways as Backs and Attack Coach from Ospreys.

“I’m excited to be joining Worcester Warriors. The owners have a strong vision for the future and Alan Solomons is building a talented squad and coaching team at Sixways,” Irish said.

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“It’s a new challenge for me and one that I’m relishing. I’d like to thank Pat Lam, the staff, the players and the supporters at Bristol for making my time with the club so enjoyable.”

As a player Irish played his formative rugby for Bridgwater & Albion and then had a season with Gloucester before moving to Bristol in 2004.

He made 146 appearances in eight seasons with Bristol, which also included a loan spell with Newbury Blues, and ended his playing career with London Scottish.

Irish then moved into coaching with Hartpury College where he coached their AASE League-winning Under-18s side as well as working with the National Leagues senior squad.

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He re-joined Bristol five years ago as Academy Forwards Coach and has combined that role with his first team Scrum Coach duties since 2018.

Irish has also been England Students Assistant Coach having previously represented the side as a player.

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