Bristol Bears have announced that Omar Mouneimne has been appointed as the club’s new defence coach. Mouneimne parted ways with Worcester Warriors last week, where he had been working since 2017, and made the first move in sounding out the Bears over a potential move.

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Announcing Mouneimne’s departure from Worcester last Friday, Warriors Director of Rugby Alan Solomons stated: “Omar’s departure from Sixways is of mutual benefit to both the club and him and is the right time for Omar to move on to other opportunities.”

A former mixed martial arts fighter, Mouneimne has enjoyed a steady rise through the ranks since starting his coaching career in 2006 with South Africa’s Sevens team, before moving to Super Rugby side the Stormers in 2008, helping them reach the 2010 Super Rugby final.

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He also helped Western Province reach the semi-finals of the Currie Cup in 2009 and the final in 2010, before moving to international rugby as Italy defence coach in 2010, where a year later he helped the Azzurri beat France in the Six Nations for the first time.

A spell at Southern Kings followed before Mouneimne moved to Edinburgh Rugby, where he was part of a team that reached the European Challenge Cup final in 2015 before he joined Top 14 side Lyon.

He previously worked with former Worcester director of rugby Gary Gold at Durban-based Sharks, helping them reach the Super Rugby quarter-finals in the 2015 season.

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And the experienced South African is now on the move again, and will begin his new role with Bristol with immediate effect.

Bristol’s Director of Rugby Pat Lam said: “When Omar contacted me wanting to be part of the Bears journey it was a no brainer for me.

“While our Defence philosophy and systems are very much aligned, it’s his passion, enthusiasm and experience which will help take our D to the next level.

“We all saw first-hand the impact he made to Worcester’s defence and how difficult it can be to attack against.

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“Omar is a real competitor and is inspired by our vision to be successful on and off the field.

“It’s great to have him on board with our coaching team and I have no doubt he will add real value to the Bears.”

“Everybody in the sport is sitting up and taking notice of what is going on at Bristol and the culture that they are building,” Mouneimne said.

“It’s a really exciting time for the club and for me to come onboard and contribute to a team that can genuinely challenge for silverware.

“I’m looking forward to working with Pat and the coaching team – it’s a quality squad with focus and self-belief. We want to be a team that is ruthless in defence and attack and can dominate in the Premiership and Europe.

“I can’t wait to get started.”

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