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Mike Catt's appointment as Andy Farrell's Ireland assistant has not gone down well with Irish fans

By Josh Raisey
Andy Farrell (left) felt it best he recruited his former England colleague Mike Catt (right) than give a local Irish coach a change with the Ireland national team (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

The weekend confirmation that Italy attack coach Mike Catt will join Andy Farrell’s Ireland coaching team after this year’s World Cup has not gone down too well with fans on social media.


The World Cup winner and England attack backs coach between 2012 and 2015 has served under Conor O’Shea with Italy since 2016, but is set to be part of the new Irish era after Joe Schmidt impending departure.

Catt’s appointment means that the entire ensemble of coaches from England’s dismal home World Cup in 2015 will be coaching in Ireland next year.

Farrell and Catt will be with the national team, Graham Rowntree is joining Munster as part of their coaching team after the World Cup, and Stuart Lancaster has been a pivotal member of Leinster’s backroom staff since 2016.

This sizeable English contingent in Ireland has left some fans questioning the resources and coaching set-up in Ireland currently. Of the four provinces, Leo Cullen is the only Irish head coach and the Irish Rugby Football Union has been criticised for failing to create a pathway for domestic coaches.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with having foreign coaches in charge of a national team. Ireland have had great success with Schmidt, as have Wales with Warren Gatland and England with Eddie Jones.

However, what fans are concerned about is Catt’s credentials and whether this appointment in Dublin is a case of recycling old coaches.


Catt’s tenure with England did not end too well and some feel his indifferent time with Italy does not warrant this calling. However, rather than look for a new and emerging coach, the IRFU went for an option who has already worked with Farrell. This is what has been said:

Of course, Catt would have learned a lot during his time with England and Italy and may be able to provide a lot to Ireland. There is no denying that he was hugely respected player and a great tactician which usually translates well into the world of coaching.


However, it is more what this appointment represents that fans are not happy about, as the coaching positions in Ireland continue to be outsourced – primarily to Englishmen – rather than from within.

WATCH: Episode four of the RugbyPass Rugby Explorer series where Jim Hamilton visits Italy, the country Ireland have recruited Mike Catt from

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