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Page last updated at 11:46 GMT, Thursday, 19 June 2008 12:46 UK

Smal joins Ireland back-room team

Gert Smal
Gert Smal was part of South Africa's World Cup management

Former South African international flanker Gert Smal has been confirmed as the new Ireland forwards coach.

The 46-year-old Smal has signed a three-year deal which will take him up to the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand.

Smal was assisant to Jake White when South Africa won the World Cup in France last year.

"I see it as a great honour to be part of the new Ireland management team and excited about the prospect of working with Declan Kidney," said Smal.

"Ireland has a strong squad of players and I look forward to working with them in the build up to the next World Cup."

Smal played for the Springboks at the time they were ostracised from the game during the Eighties due to aparteid.

Smal earned his coaching spurs at the Border Bulldogs and Western Province winning two Currie Cup at the start of the century before moving to Super 12 side the Stormers.

He was appointed to the South African team management as assistant to Jake White and helped guide the Springboks to the Tri-Nations Championship in 2004.

Declan Kidney, who hopes to finalise their backroom line-up before the squad meets up again in August, said he was happy that Smal had joined the management team.

"We are delighted to get a person of Gert Smal┐s stature on our coaching team," said Kidney.

"He comes with a very impressive list of achievements at the highest levels in South African rugby, highlighted of course by his critical role as assistant coach when the Springboks won the World Cup in France last year."

see also
Australia 18-12 Ireland
14 Jun 08 |  Irish
O'Driscoll rues late Irish slump
07 Jun 08 |  Rugby Union
New Zealand 21-11 Ireland
07 Jun 08 |  Rugby Union

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