Willie Faloon becomes new Ireland Under-20 head coach

Willie Faloon becomes new Ireland Under-20 head coach

Willie Faloon will take over as Ireland Under-20 head coach for the upcoming World Rugby Under-20 Championship in South Africa. He replaces former head coach Richie Murphy, who joined Ulster on a permanent basis.

Faloon has worked as Ireland's U-20s’ defence coach under Murphy for the last two U-20 Six Nations campaigns and the last World Rugby U-20 Championship, and will lead the group to South Africa in June.

Aaron Dundon (forwards coach) and Ian Keatley (attack and backs coach) will also continue in their roles, while Neil Doak joins as a senior coach.

This year’s tournament will be played over five match days—between June 29 and July 19—in the Western Cape regions of Stellenbosch and Cape Town, with World Rugby due to announce the pool schedule at the end of this month.

In advance of their departure for South Africa, the Ireland U-20s will play three challenge matches against Irish universities (May 24), Ulster ‘A’ (June 1), and Munster ‘A’ (June 7).

The IRFU’s Head of Elite Player Development, Peter Smyth, spoke about the appointment

"It was important for us to maintain consistency within our group, so we are pleased to confirm the appointment of Willie as Ireland U-20 head coach for this summer, with Aaron and Ian continuing in their roles and Neil joining the team as a senior coach," said Smyth.

"A World Rugby U-20 Championship is always an exciting challenge, and, coming off the back of the Six Nations, the group is motivated to work hard in the weeks ahead to put themselves in the best position to perform against the world’s best in South Africa.

IRELAND UNDER-20 MEN’S COACHING TEAM, 2024 World Rugby U-20 Championship:

  • Head Coach: Willie Faloon
  • Senior Coach: Neil Doak
  • Attacks and Backs Coach: Ian Keatley
  • Forwards Coach: Aaron Dundon