Northampton Saints have appointed Alan Gaffney as technical coaching consultant until the end of the season.
The 70-year-old takes over from long-term Director of Rugby Jim Mallinder, who was was sacked from the club a few weeks ago.
Mallinder had been in charge at Franklin's Gardens for a decade, but left following a poor start to the season.
Gaffney is one of Australia’s most experienced coaches who will bring over two decades of professional coaching experience to Franklin’s Gardens.
He'll already be a household name to supporters of Irish rugby after spells with the Munster, Leinster, and Ireland squads between 2000 and 2011.
“I am really excited about the challenge ahead,” said Gaffney.
“Any coach would jump at the chance to work with the calibre of players Saints have. The squad have shown what they’re capable of earlier in the season but, for whatever reason, they have not been able to perform at that level consistently.
“I’m looking forward to working with Alan Dickens, Dorian West, Mark Hopley, Phil Dowson and the rest of the back-room staff from the start of the new year.”
If Alan Gaffney's CV is anything to go by, the Saints look to be in good hands.
Take a look at his impressive coaching career:
- Rugby Australia: National Elite Programmes Coach (2013-present)
- NSW Waratahs: Senior Assistant Coach (2011–2013)
- Ireland Rugby Union: National Team Backs Coach (2008–2011)
- Leinster Rugby: Backs Coach and Technical Consultant (2008–2010)
- Saracens: Director of Rugby (2006–2008)
- Rugby Australia: National Team Assistant Coach (2005)
- Munster Rugby: Head Coach (2002–2005)
- Leinster Rugby: Backs Coach (2000–2002)
- NSW Waratahs: Assistant Coach (1997–1999)
Saints travel to Twickenham on Saturday to face Harlequins in the Premiership.
Gaffney will officially start his new role on New Year's Day.
He will work alongside acting head coach Alan Dickens, forwards coach Dorian West, defence coach Phil Dowson and assistant coach Mark Hopley.