<
>

Ex-England international Catt to join Ireland coaching staff

Mike Catt's contract with Ireland will run until after the 2023 World Cup in France. David Rogers/Getty Images

Former England international Mike Catt will join Ireland's coaching staff in a deal through to 2023 following this year's World Cup in Japan, the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) said on Sunday.

The 48-year-old, who was part of his country's World Cup-winning team in 2003, will be with the Italy squad for the World Cup, where he has worked under head coach Conor O'Shea since 2016.

Catt held a similar role as an attack coach with England between 2012 and 2015 after ending his international career with 75 caps.

"Mike brings a wealth of experience to the coaching group and has been operating at the highest level of the international game for some time," IRFU performance director David Nucifora said in a statement.

"He was a smart and innovative player and he brings those attributes and much more besides in his approach to coaching and player development."

Catt's contract will keep him with Ireland up to and including the 2023 World Cup in France.

Catt, who as a player won four Six Nations titles with England plus three Premiership crowns and a European Cup at Bath, said his immediate focus was helping Italy in the World Cup.

"I'm looking forward to the RWC and seeing the group of players we have in Italy fulfill their potential and achieve the objectives we've set for ourselves," he said.

"It's an honour to be given this future opportunity with Ireland but I'll focus on that challenge only after I have given my all for Italy."

Information from Reuters contributed to this story.