Richie Murphy hails quality of backroom staff ahead of U20 Six Nations tilt

Ireland U20s head coach Richie Murphy

Ireland U20s head coach Richie Murphy

Cian Tracey

Ireland U-20s head coach Richie Murphy has hailed his new-look backroom team, as preparations ramp up for the 2022 Six Nations.

Murphy has recruited former Connacht forwards coach Jimmy Duffy, as well as ex-Ulster and Connacht back-row Willie Faloon and Mark Sexton, brother of Leinster and Ireland captain Johnny.

Duffy will oversee the forwards, with Faloon taking charge of defence and Sexton looking after skills, as well as the backs.

Duffy adds a wealth of experience to the setup, while Faloon is currently part of the Ulster Academy structure as elite performance development officer, with Sexton having recently joined Connacht in a similar role after a distinguished playing career in the Energia All-Ireland League with St Mary's.

“We're very lucky to have the calibre of coach and person in our set-up,” Murphy said.

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“Jimmy is a very experienced coach from his time with Connacht and the guys will learn a lot from him. Both Willie and Mark are excellent young coaches and have fitted in really well already, adding a huge amount to the environment.

"We've had two camps in recent weeks and you can already see the information being passed over to the players and that has been invaluable for the wider group as we build towards 2022. You can see the coaches building nice relationships with the players and that puts us in a good place."

The Ireland squad is set to reconvene in Cork on December 27 ahead of a challenge match against Munster Development at Musgrave Park on December 30.

Ireland are due to begin next year's Six Nations campaign against Wales at Musgrave Park on February 4.

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