Connacht have secured New Zealand born Dave Ellis as their new backs and skills coach on an initial one-year contract.

Ellis, who has been working as staff coach for the International Rugby Academy (IRANZ) since 2002, will join Pat Lam's coaching team in September.

With over 20 years experience in player skill development, his notable coaching career includes stints with USA Rugby, Black Ferns (NZ Women's Team) and clubs in Argentina.

Lam, who has worked with Ellis in the past, said: "The biggest thing with Dave is his massive ability as a coach around skills, decision making and player development."

"I hope I can add value to an already flourishing programme" - Dave Ellis

“The last 10 years he's been involved with the International Rugby Academy in New Zealand, where I worked with him, and I saw the ability he had in improving not only players but also some of the best international coaches in the world.

"I've been working closely with Tom Sears and the PGB (Professional Games Board) over the last few months to ensure we get the right staff and they've been very supportive.

“I've been so pleased with the quality of coaches here at Connacht - Dan (McFarland), Nigel (Carolan), Jimmy (Duffy), and Cory (Brown). Dave meets that criterion of being a good team man. His knowledge of the game, ability to get his message across, planning and attention to detail is top class and I know he'll be a big asset for Connacht and Irish rugby."

Ellis said: "I look forward to joining the team at Connacht and working with Pat again.

"I am excited by the innovative systems used at Connacht and hope I can add value to an already flourishing programme."