Andy Farrell and Jonathan Sexton
Andy Farrell has scooped Coach of the Year honours at the RTÉ Sport Awards in the same week as the Irish Rugby Football Union announced a new contract which will see him remain as Head Coach coach of Ireland for the next four years.

Ireland have achieved stellar success under Farrell, landing a Guinness Men’s Six Nations Grand Slam in 2023 to go with historic Test series in New Zealand that came as part of a series of 17 victories in a row.

That run of form brought the team to the number one World Ranking.

A devastating defeat to New Zealand in the Rugby World Cup final brought an end to that sequence but Farrell will attempt to claim more Guinness Men’s Six Nations and Rugby World Cup glory over the course of another four-year cycle.

Commenting on his new commitment, Farrell said: "It is a pleasure to work with such a talented and committed group of players and as we enter a new cycle, it will be exciting to see more players come through the system.

"There is a talented group of established internationals who are determined to succeed at international level for Ireland and I am excited to see how the recent Ireland U20 squads will also emerge and challenge for international honours in the near future.

"It all makes for an exciting next chapter and it is one which my family and I are delighted to continue."

And while Farrell has an exciting generation of talented new players to work with, the loss of several big names will present a challenge in the next Guinness Men’s Six Nations.

Johnny Sexton, one of those stars who has opted to call it a day, was present at the RTÉ Sport Awards last night to present Farrell with his award.

The fly-half, who announced his own retirement after the Rugby World Cup, said: "He’s a special guy, a special manager, a special coach. I’ve not really seen a manager tick all the boxes like he does, so thankfully Ireland have him for the next four years, and hopefully he’ll be put in charge of the Lions (in 2025) as well."

Sexton’s glittering career included a Lions glory, that Ireland series victory in New Zealand, and European and domestic success with Leinster, but he revealed that his career highlight came in last year’s Grand Slam, which was sealed

"To captain your country to a Grand Slam at home, with all your family and friends (there), such a special group of players and management. We had some great days after it, like the Limerick boys were saying there.

"They are the days you’ll miss the most. Again, a very, very special day."

Ireland will open their 2023 Guinness Men's Six Nations campaign with a mouthwatering Friday night clash with France on 2 February.