Ireland head coach Andy Farrell signed a two-year contract extension on Friday that keeps him in charge of the world’s top-ranked rugby nation until 2025.
Farrell has been rewarded with the new deal after masterminding Ireland’s first Test series win in New Zealand.
Ireland quickly tied down Farrell after English RFU chief executive Bill Sweeney last week admitted the coach was “very highly regarded” amid their search for a long-term successor to England boss Eddie Jones.
Performance director David Nucifora said Irish rugby chiefs were aware the 47-year-old would be in demand if Ireland did not ensure his future remained in Dublin.
“Andy is one of the outstanding coaches in world rugby and his work in leading the transition within the national team since the 2019 Rugby World Cup has been exceptional,” Nucifora said.
“Ireland are currently the number one ranked team in the world, an incredibly tough five-match tour of New Zealand was a success on several levels and a Triple Crown was secured in the 2022 Six Nations Championship.
“A coach of Andy’s calibre is always going to be in high demand, and we are delighted that he has agreed to extend his contract with the IRFU.
“This new deal, agreed prior to the tour of New Zealand, allows us to plan beyond the 2023 Rugby World Cup with the certainty that one of the top coaching talents in the game is spearheading the national programme.”
Farrell’s contract has an option to extend it further as part of the new deal. “I am happy to extend my contract with Irish Rugby for a further two years,” he said.
“As a group we have made it clear that we are building towards the 2023 Rugby World Cup, and we have taken some decent strides in that regard in recent months.
“I am excited about continuing to work with the group and with the next generation of Irish international players.”
Farrell left his assistant role with England after the 2015 World Cup. The former Wigan and Saracens dual-code star became Ireland defence coach in 2016 under Joe Schmidt, succeeding the Kiwi after the 2019 World Cup.
Ireland have climbed to the top of the world rankings by virtue of a 2-1 series win in New Zealand.
© Agence France-Presse