The IRFU has appointed John Plumtree as the forwards coach to the Ireland team.

Plumtree, who is a former South African Coach of the Year, guided the Natal Sharks to two Currie Cup successes since taking charge in 2008.

The 48-year-old Kiwi also has experience of the Welsh League with Swansea and guided the Wellington Lions to play-off finals in 2003, 2004 and 2006 in New Zealand's NPC.

"I'm really looking forward to becoming part of the Irish coaching set-up," said Plumtree.

"Having watched a number of recent Test matches there are some really positive challenges in front of us.

"I'm conscious of the responsibility we have and will be working hard to play my part in driving the team forward."

Plumtree will arrive join the Ireland set-up in early September and will work under new Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt, who replaced Declan Kidney in the wake of the 2013 RBS 6 Nations.

"It's great to have John joining us as part of the Irish coaching team," Schmidt said.

"His proven success and broad experience across a number of competitions along with his ability to provide quality direction will add real value to the team."