Paul O’Connell joins coaching staff at Stade Francais
Former Ireland captain to take charge of the forwards at Top 14 club
Paul O’Connell has been named as the new forwards coach at Stade Francais. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho
Former Ireland captain Paul O’Connell is to join the coaching staff at French side Stade Francais as forwards coach.
The 38-year-old Limerickman has dipped his toe in coaching with the Ireland under-20s but will step up his career in the Top 14 alongside his former Munster scrumhalf Mike Prendergast, who is part of the coaching staff at the Paris club.
Stade tweeted out a teaser, which including a video of a plane coming into land and an unidentified man bending down to pick a shamrock off the Stade Jean-Bouin pitch. They confirmed that the mystery man was O’Connell in a follow-up tweet 90 minutes later.
✍☘ Le @SFParisRugby est fier d’annoncer l'arrivée de @Paul_OConnell au poste d'entraineur des avants (spécialiste de la touche). Welcome to Paris Paul !#PinkArmy #TousParisiens #OConnellEstRose #WelcomePaul #SFParis pic.twitter.com/x2os7SSqVb— Stade Français Paris (@SFParisRugby) August 3, 2018
Former South Africa coach Heyneke Meyer is the director of rugby and head coach at Stade Francais, with former French scrumhalf Julien Dupuy also on the coaching staff.
Prendergast joined the club over the summer as backs coach after coaching positions with Oyonnax and Grenoble.
O’Connell’s arrival in Paris grows the former Munster contingent in the French capital, with Simon Zebo having joined O’Connell’s former secondrow partner Donnacha Ryan at Racing 92 this summer.
Ronan O’Gara cut his teeth in coaching with Racing before moving on to New Zealand side Crusaders, who play in Saturday’s Super Rugby decider against the Lions in Christchurch.
The Top 14 season begins on Saturday, August 25th, with Stade Francais playing away in the opening game of the competition to Perpignan, who signed former Ulster outhalf Paddy Jackson this summer.