Ireland’s new contract ensures that Andy Farrell will guide the team to the 2027 World Cup.

Andy Farrell has agreed to extend his contract as Ireland head coach until the 2027 World Cup, which was announced on the same day that Rob Howley joined Warren Gatland’s coaching staff for the Six Nations. This will be Howley’s first involvement with Wales since his ban for breaching betting regulations.

Farrell expressed his enjoyment of coaching the team and his pride in continuing his association with the IRFU. He looks forward to working with a talented group of players and expects to see more players emerge through the system in the new cycle. He also highlighted the determination of established internationals and the potential of the Ireland Under-20 squads.

Despite Ireland’s loss to New Zealand in this year’s World Cup, Farrell has been successful as head coach, including a historic series win in New Zealand and a grand slam earlier this year. It is expected that he will lead the British & Irish Lions tour in 2025.

David Nucifora, the IRFU’s performance director, expressed support for Farrell potentially taking time out to lead the Lions and assured that they will discuss the arrangement if it happens. On the other hand, Howley’s return to Welsh rugby has been met with acceptance and faith from the national side.

Howley’s role as Wales’ attack coach from 2008 to 2019 included four Championship titles and three grand slams. He took a break from rugby prior to the 2019 World Cup due to his involvement in betting activity, resulting in a ban. He has now returned as a “technical” coach and will also work with the Wales Under-20 side.

With Jonathan Thomas’ departure, Howley joins Gatland’s management team alongside Mike Forshaw, Jonathan Humphreys, Neil Jenkins, and Alex King.

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