Easterby leaves Scarlets for Ireland
July 17, 2014
Simon Easterby will be barking orders at Ireland's forwards now © Getty Images
Simon Easterby has left the Scarlets to take on a role as Ireland's new forwards coach.
Easterby replaces John Plumtree, who opted to return to Super Rugby as part of the Hurricanes' new coaching team. The move sees Easterby leave his role as the Scarlets' head coach to take up the post in Joe Schmidt's backroom team and return to the country he captained and played 65 times for.
Schmidt welcomed the move, saying: "Simon has tremendous Test match experience combined with an in-depth knowledge of the current national squad players. He is well known to Irish rugby supporters and to many of the players and his knowledge and experience will help drive the team forward."
Easterby admitted the decision was an "emotional" one and he paid tribute to the Scarlets' board for permitting him to leave the region for Ireland.
"I am very grateful to the Scarlets board for allowing this to happen and for respecting and supporting my ambition and development as a coach at international level," Easterby said. "It's a huge opportunity for me in Ireland and one I am very excited about, but it's been a very emotional decision to leave the region that has been such a major part of my rugby career.
"What makes it easier is the knowledge that we have a strong coaching structure in place and a very balanced playing squad that has not changed dramatically over the summer. We've worked hard to make good quality signings that will further strengthen our squad and I believe Scarlets rugby will go forward very positively next season."
Scarlets' CEO Mark Davies paid tribute to Easterby, saying: "It is a compliment to Simon's fast development and success within his coaching role at Parc y Scarlets over the past two years that he has been offered this opportunity. We were aware that both Joe Schmidt and the IRFU had identified Simon some time ago and as a result of his and the Scarlets progress over the last two seasons, this chance has come his way.
"As Scarlets we thank Simon for his huge contribution as a player and most recently as our coach for all that he has done to represent this Region at the highest level; he has worked with huge integrity, dedication and passion and wish him all the best in his international coaching career."
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