Connacht can look forward to the next two seasons with a real sense of stability after Andy Friend's backroom staff all signed two year contract extensions.

Attack coach Nigel Carolan, forwards coach Jimmy Duffy and defence coach Peter Wilkins have all signed two deals that will take them up to the end of the 2020-21 season.

Friend said: "One of the first things that struck me when I took up the position of Head Coach of Connacht Rugby was the strength of the coaching team that was already in place.

"They are an exceptional team and one of the best collective groups I have worked with in my coaching career. Obviously a major priority for us has been to retain the services of these guys into the future and I am delighted that we are now in a position to announce this great news.

"We can now continue to focus on producing an exciting, attacking and ultimately winning brand of rugby for the seasons ahead."

Carolan was Connacht Academy Manager from 2004 to his appointment with the professional team in 2017. He is also former Head Coach of the Ireland Under 20 squad.

Duffy has held his current role since 2015 and was part of the coaching team that won the PRO12 Championship in 2016, while Wilkins joined Connacht from Edinburgh ahead of the 2017/18 season. 

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