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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 April 2006, 09:28 GMT 10:28 UK
Gaffney named new Saracens coach
Alan Gaffney
Gaffney has coached at Leinster, Munster and the Wallabies
Saracens have appointed former Munster coach Alan Gaffney as their new director of rugby.

The Australian, 58, who replaces the sacked Steve Diamond, will take up his post at the end of the season.

Head coach Mike Ford and acting director of rugby Eddie Jones will remain in charge for the final three Premiership games.

"I'm absolutely delighted. I'd always wanted to coach in the English Premiership," said Gaffney.

"This is a great opportunity for me. I'm really looking forward to getting involved.

"I've already met with a lot of the guys around the training centre and they seem a good bunch of people who I look forward to getting to know better over the next few weeks."

In this day and age, it doesn't matter so much where your rugby expertise lays, you've got to be able to manage players
Alan Gaffney

Saracens chief executive Mark Sinderberry said: "We're delighted that Alan has agreed to join us.

"He's someone with more than 20 years coaching experience at the highest level and his knowledge of northern hemisphere rugby made him the ideal candidate for the role.

"When we began the recruitment process we identified a lack of specialist coaching within the club as being significant in our lack of progress over recent years.

"As a result, Alan will head up an enlarged coaching team which will be finalised over the coming weeks."

Gaffney's coaching career began at Sydney club Randwick in 1984 and has also seen him complete spells at Leinster and the New South Wales Waratahs.

He joined Munster in 2002 and helped the club twice reach the semi-finals of the Heineken Cup along with winning the Celtic League and Cup.

He likes to see an attacking brand of rugby, and we played some of our greatest rugby under him
Munster star Ronan O'Gara

He left Munster to join Australia as an assistant coach at the end of last season.

Gaffney added: "I've followed the Premiership from Ireland quite extensively and also come up against a number of English teams during my time with Munster and Leinster.

"I know that this is a very difficult competition to play in - especially when combined with the Powergen Cup and the Heineken Cup.

"It puts strong demands on everyone involved and one of the other big factors in this role is managing that whole process.

"In this day and age, it doesn't matter so much where your rugby expertise lays, you've got to be able to manage players and make sure you are getting the optimum performance week in, week out."

Ireland international Ronan O'Gara, who worked with Gaffney at Munster, believes Saracens have made an inspired choice.

"He is a fine coach, and his style is definitely not 10-man rugby," said the fly-half.

"He likes to see an attacking brand of rugby, and we played some of our greatest rugby under him.

"He will make a great difference to Saracens - they have got themselves a fantastic coach."




SEE ALSO
Gaffney excited by Saracens role
12 Apr 06 |  English
Diamond sacked as Saracens coach
08 Feb 06 |  English
Munster appoint Gaffney
18 Apr 02 |  Celtic


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