Ulster Academy manager Kieran Campbell has been confirmed as the new Ireland under 20 head coach, with Denis Leamy coming in as defence coach.

Campbell has served as assistant coach to Noel McNamara for the last three seasons, including the 2019 Grand Slam-winning campaign.

He has now taken the reins from McNamara, who steps away having been unable to finish the 2020 Six Nations due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Ireland had started with three wins out of three.

Campbell will be assisted by forwards coach Colm Tucker and ex-Ireland international Leamy, who joins the set-up as defence coach.

The new regime will have to wait until April at the earliest for some competitive action after Wednesday's news that the under 20s Six Nations has been postponed. 

"The postponement of the Six Nations is disappointing for the players, coaches and management, however the most important thing is people's health and we fully understand and support the decision," Campbell said.

"We must all follow public health advice and the guidelines in place to protect our families and communities.

"The IRFU will explore the options and formats for the Championship to take place at a later date with Six Nations and the other Unions and we’ve been fortunate to have delivered one camp before Christmas.

"We were able to build a foundation of work through that camp and through remote video calls with the players in recent weeks.

"With this body of work completed and with being able to achieve opportunities to expose the players to some competitive game-time including the 'A’ fixture between Ulster and Leinster this Friday, players, coaches and management will be striving to ensure the group is prepared to perform for the 2021 Championship at a later date."

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