The IRFU has announced Declan Danaher the new defence coach of the Ireland women’s squad.

Danaher made 275 appearances for London Irish, and also captained the side. He also represented Ireland at U19 level through the Irish Exiles, and went on to represent England at U21 level and England A.

He was the longest-serving player at London Irish in the professional era and upon his retirement from the game embarked on his coaching career.

Starting out coaching in the academy, he worked in the pathway developing academy players for the senior team, before working his way up to defence coach and then held the role of assistant coach under Declan Kidney during his time at London Irish.

The combination of his long service to London Irish and strong Irish background, his mother comes from Limerick and his father from Kerry, means he is excited to get working with the Irish side.

Speaking about the appointment, Danaher commented: “I am proud to join the IRFU as the defence coach with the women’s side for the six nations. I am very proud of my Irish heritage and excited to get working with this squad.”

“I’ve seen how the system has been developing over the years and it’s an exciting time for the game in Ireland and I’m really looking forward to being a part of that. I look forward to working with the players and coaches as we continue to build towards this year’s Six Nations.”

Greg Hollins will also join the Women’s Team management for the Six Nations campaign, as Athletic Performance Coach, working alongside Ed SlatteryHead of Athletic Performance.