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Wasps lose assistant coach Costello to Munster five years after the Irish club sent him packing to England

By Sam Smith
(Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

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Ian Costello is back at Munster as their academy manager after five years away from the Irish club in England, first as the boss of tier-two Nottingham and then the past three years as defence coach of Wasps. It is no surprise as the 2019/20 Gallagher Premiership finalists had admitted this week they were about to lose the services of Costello.

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Coach Lee Blackett said on Tuesday: “I’ll know a lot more in the next 48 hours. With Ian, we know his family situation and he has been very open with the club. Realistically, he is going to go back sometime within the next year-and-a-half so I’ll know a lot more when that is, probably in the next 48 hours.”

Blackett was true to his word as it was confirmed on Wednesday that Costello, the defence coach from 2014 to 2016 under the late Anthony Foley, would be returning to Munster 15 years after he first started work with them in Limerick.   

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Costello initially worked with the province’s academy in 2006 when carrying out his role of IRFU elite player development Officer for two years. Over the same period, he worked with UL Bohemian as head coach and director of rugby. A former Munster U20s coach, he coached Munster A to the 2012 British and Irish Cup title before earning promotion to the senior team when Foley took over from Rob Penney. 

Costello said: “My family and I have had an incredible experience in the UK over the last five years at Nottingham and Wasps, but we are very excited for an opportunity to return home and once again work with Munster and the IRFU.

“I would particularly like to thank Wasps for the support and understanding they have shown me and my family. I’m deeply passionate about Munster and Irish rugby and look forward to the challenge and responsibility of being part of developing the elite player pathway in Munster.”

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Peter Smyth, the IRFU head of elite player development, said: “Ian is returning to Munster having accumulated knowledge and experience in other rugby environments and is a quality appointment for the Munster academy. He comes into the role at a time where there are huge opportunities for the development of the elite player pathway in Munster.”

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Wasps lose assistant coach Costello to Munster five years after the Irish club sent him packing to England

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